Earth Needs Fewer People to Beat the Climate Crisis, Scientists Say




 

(Bloomberg) -- Forty years ago, scientists from 50 nations converged on Geneva to discuss what was then called the "CO2-climate problem." At the time, with reliance on fossil fuels having helped trigger the 1979 oil crisis, they predicted global warming would eventually become a major environmental challenge.

The scientists got to work, building a strategy on how to attack the problem and laying the groundwork for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world's preeminent body of climate scientists. Their goal was to get ahead of the problem before it was too late. But after a fast start, the fossil fuel industry, politics and the prioritization of economic growth over planetary health slowed them down.

Now, four decades later, a larger group of scientists is sounding another, much more urgent alarm. More than 11,000 experts from around the world are calling for a critical addition to the main strategy of dumping fossil fuels for renewable energy: there needs to be far fewer humans on the planet.

"We declare, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world, clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency," the scientists wrote in a stark warning published Tuesday in the journal BioScience.

While warnings about the consequences of unchecked climate change have become so commonplace as to inure the average news consumer, this latest communique is exceptionally significant given the data that accompanies it.

When absorbed in sequence, the charts lay out a devastating trend for planetary health. From meat consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and ice loss to sea-level rise and extreme weather events, they lay out a grim portrait of 40 years of squandered opportunities.

The scientists make specific calls for policymakers to quickly implement systemic change to energy, food, and economic policies. But they go one step further, into the politically fraught territory of population control. It "must be stabilized-and, ideally, gradually reduced-within a framework that ensures social integrity," they write.

The problem is enormous, yet the signatories still manage to strike an upbeat tone. For all the lost chances, progress is being made, they contend.

"We are encouraged by a recent surge of concern," the letter states. "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."

The report, however, comes one day after U.S. President Donald Trump began the formal procedure of withdrawing America from the Paris climate accord.

To contact the author of this story: Eric Roston in New York at eroston@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Petri at jpetri4@bloomberg.net, David Rovella

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Import Collapse Turns Into a Boon for Philippines
Import Collapse Turns Into a Boon for Philippines' Currency

(Bloomberg) -- One consequence of the Philippines' struggling economy is turning into a boon for its currency.A collapse in imports has had a positive effect on the nation's trade deficit, leading to lower demand for overseas currencies and helping to strengthen the peso. The Philippine currency is the

Oil Sinks With Rebound in Libyan Output Adding to Market Gloom
Oil Sinks With Rebound in Libyan Output Adding to Market Gloom

(Bloomberg) -- Crude slid after a key Libyan oil field resumed production, threatening to unleash barrels into a market where demand is already lackluster.U.S. oil futures fell as much as 3% on Thursday after trading in a tight range this week. The Messla oil field and Sarir refinery in eastern Libya resumed production after a technical problem forced a shutdown. Meanwhile, rising global coronavirus cases and reports of layoffs at companies from Wells Fargo & Co. to Walgreen Boots Alliance Inc. are dampening the potential of a demand recovery later this year."The global market is going to have a difficult time absorbing these additional Libyan barrels," said John Kilduff, a partner at...

'No Way I Can Lose': Inside China's Stock-Market Frenzy

(Bloomberg) -- Like millions of amateur investors across China, Min Hang has become infatuated with the country's surging stock market."There's no way I can lose," said the 36-year-old, who works at a technology startup and opened her first trading account in Beijing on Tuesday. "Right now, I'm feeling invincible."Five years after China's last big equity boom ended in tears, signs of euphoria among the nation's investing masses are popping up everywhere. Turnover has soared, margin debt has risen at the fastest pace since 2015 and online trading platforms are struggling to keep up. Over the past eight days alone, Chinese stocks have added more than $1 trillion of value -- far outpacing...

Brooks Brothers Goes Bankrupt With Formal Attire Losing Favor
Brooks Brothers Goes Bankrupt With Formal Attire Losing Favor

(Bloomberg) -- Brooks Brothers Group Inc. filed for bankruptcy, felled by the pandemic's impact on clothing sales and its own heavy debt load.The two-century-old apparel company is the latest to succumb as lockdowns during the coronavirus outbreak add to the woes of old-line retailers. Neiman Marcus

White House Wants Stimulus by August Recess With $1 Trillion Cap
White House Wants Stimulus by August Recess With $1 Trillion Cap
  • Tech
  • 2020-07-07 14:36:56Z

(Bloomberg) -- The White House wants Congress to pass another stimulus package by the first week in August, before lawmakers head home for their annual summer recess, and to keep the cost at $1 trillion or less, according to Vice President Mike Pence's top aide."I think we want to make sure that people

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Economy