BROOKLYN (November 5, 2019)—Today over 11,000 scientists from 153 nations declared a #ClimateEmergency saying that unless major and long-lasting shifts are made in the way humans contribute to global warming, “untold human suffering” remains unavoidable. The paper published in BioScience by William J. Ripple and Christopher Wolf of Oregon State University, provides graphs of vital signs highlighting key climate change indicators and factors over the last 40 years, since scientists from 50 nations met at the First World Climate Conference in Geneva in 1979. Advocates around the world are commending the paper and hope it’s the final nail in the coffin of climate deniers who lie to the public about the extent to which Climate Emergency threatens our nations and families.
“At this late hour, the world is finally waking up,” said Margaret Klein Salamon, founder and Executive Director of The Climate Mobilization and author of the forthcoming book Facing the Climate Emergency: How to Transform Yourself with Climate Truth. “Scientists have a culture of reticence when it comes to making statements like this, but the emergency is rapidly accelerating, and the scientists are very clear: this is an existential emergency, and we need to rapidly transform our economy and society right now to protect humanity and the living world,” added Klein-Salamon.
The scientists join a growing international Climate Emergency Movement, led in part by The Climate Mobilization, which has expanded from a few organizations and approximately 230 global governments and jurisdictions in January to now over 1,178 governments in 23 countries that have declared a Climate Emergency.
Despite the ominous predicament, the group of scientists says they are “encouraged by a recent surge of concern. Governmental bodies are making climate emergency declarations. Schoolchildren are striking. Ecocide lawsuits are proceeding in the courts. Grassroots citizen movements are demanding change, and many countries, states and provinces, cities, and businesses are responding.” For the members of Congress working to help declare a Climate Emergency in the United States, the paper is a clear warning that we have to move with urgency and leadership in protecting our world.
“To address the climate crisis, we must tell the truth about the nature of this threat, and who better to hear that from than the experts working to understand this every Day,” said Congressman Earl Blumenauer. “I, along with Congresswoman Ocasio Cortez and Senator Sanders, said months ago with our resolution that the climate crisis is an emergency, we are running out of time, and we need bold action now to solve it. If devastating weather extremes, rising sea levels, and mobilization from activists around the globe isn’t enough incentive for Congress to act on the climate emergency, what is?”
In June, The Climate Mobilization played a key role in the development of the concurrent resolution in Congress to declare a Climate Emergency cosponsored by Congressman Blumenauer (D-OR) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) in the House and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the Senate. The resolution has now gained 80 cosponsors in the House of Representatives, and 7 in the Senate — including six presidential candidates.
While scientists are in a clear consensus, many still worry that the need to move into emergency-mode will dissipate as climate deniers once again deny the threat to our existence from #ClimateEmergency and attempt to push the discussion back to gradualism, which puts our society in tremendous danger. “Despite 40 years of major global negotiations, we have continued to conduct business as usual and have failed to address this crisis,” said Ripple, distinguished professor of ecology in the OSU College of Forestry. “Climate change has arrived and is accelerating faster than many scientists expected.”