“…there’s a very real possibility that the latter part of the lives of most of you in this room will be grim or non-existent.”
Universities do not deny the seriousness of anthropogenic dangerous climate change directly, but they are often complicit through its near-absence across much of the curriculum. This is partly born of a fear of ‘politicizing’ the problem. Yet unless we are willing to address the profoundly political and ethical questions raised by dangerous anthropogenic climate change, we have no hope of avoiding worst-case scenarios or of adapting transformatively to already locked-in harms.
A white desert of snow-covered peaks, startlingly blue skies, face-tingling ice crystals in the crisp cold air,– when I first flew into Svalbard on a reporting mission in the spring of 2007, the beauty of the high northern landscape fulfilled all my expectations of the cold, remote region of my imagination.
I had been covering climate change since the 1990s, when it was anything but a mainstream topic, either of conversation or media interest. Now the International Polar Year had brought me to the place most people would at that time still have assumed one of the last to be bothered by “global warming”.
Education is widely seen as conferring huge advantages, and educational institutions are recognised as wielding considerable social influence. They are the intellectual homes to researchers examining all aspects of the climate and ecological crisis (CEC). So why is it that decades after the first United Nations Conference of the Parties (CoP) on climate change, we have moved ever closer to a disaster and are currently in a planetary emergency?
Once upon a time, before I became Executive Director of Scientists Warning, I was an academic, a cognitive psychologist with a successful career. And I was also becoming increasingly aware of the climate crisis: the year on year rise in atmospheric CO2 levels, the loss of biodiversity, the increasing frequency of extreme weather events and the loss of Arctic sea ice…
We know that we are in the midst of a climate and ecological emergency. A key question is what can we do about this? Which actions will have the greatest positive impact? Scientists have been working to develop modeling tools to help us to predict this and to inform policy decisions. One promising tool is En-ROADS (Energy rapid overview and decision support).
The footprint of human activity is now felt in every region and ecosystem on earth from the bottom of the oceans to the tallest peaks and even high up into the atmosphere. Because of this, many scientists now think we have departed from the Holocene, which refers to the previous 13,000 years or so and entered into a new, much less stable, geological epoch termed the Anthropocene where humans are very much in the driving seat of the earth’s systems.
Free online book by scientist and bestselling author of Brain-fizzing Facts, Dr Emily Grossman, breaks down the science of the climate and ecological crisis to make our situation easy for adults and teenagers to understand.
This alert from the Alliance of World Scientists (AWS) examines the long-term direct and indirect impacts of invasive alien species. Here is an excerpt from the abstract: “Biological invasions are a global consequence of an increasingly connected world and the rise in human population size. The numbers of invasive alien species – the subset of alien species […]
Approximately two years after the World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity (2nd Notice) was released in 2017, an additional warning in the form of the “World Scientists’s Warning of a Climate Emergency“ by William Ripple et al was been released. The paper opens with “Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic […]