"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."
In a paper published today in BioScience, the authors, along with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from 153 countries, declare a climate emergency, present graphics showing trends as vital signs against which to measure progress, and provide a set of effective mitigating actions.
Scientists - Areas - Humanity - Steps - Effects
The scientists point to six areas in which humanity should take immediate steps to slow down the effects of a warming planet:
1) Energy. Implement massive conservation practices; replace fossil fuels with low-carbon renewables; leave remaining stocks of fossil fuels in the ground; eliminate subsidies to fossil fuel companies; and impose carbon fees that are high enough to restrain the use of fossil fuels.
Pollutants - Emissions - Methane - Soot - Hydrofluorocarbons
2) Short-lived pollutants. Swiftly cut emissions of methane, soot, hydrofluorocarbons and other short-lived climate pollutants; doing so has the potential to reduce the short-term warming trend by more than 50% over the next few decades.
3) Nature. Restore and protect ecosystems such as forests, grasslands, peatlands, wetlands and mangroves, and allow a larger share of these ecosystems to reach their ecological potential for sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide, a key greenhouse gas.
Food - Eat - Plants - Animal - Products
4) Food. Eat more plants and consume fewer animal products. The dietary shift would significantly reduce emissions of methane and other greenhouse gases and free up agricultural lands for growing human food rather than livestock feed. Reducing food waste is also critical -- the scientists say at least one-third of all food produced ends up as garbage.
5) Economy. Convert the economy to one that is carbon free to address human dependence on the biosphere and shift goals away from the growth of...
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