Eliminating subsidies to fossil fuel companies, restoring forests, eating more plants and wasting less food, having fewer children and abandoning the obsession with economic growth are among the recommendations of a new report denounced by thousands of scientists who warn of a climatic emergency.
11,263 scientists from 153 countries have teamed up to approve the climate emergency declaration, offering six clear measures that they believe will prevent "untold human suffering" due to climate change.
The group said the statement is based on the scientific analysis of over 40 years of publicly available data on energy consumption, surface temperature, population growth, deforestation, deforestation, ice polar mass, fertility rates, GDP and carbon emissions from around the world.
It provides what the coalition calls "six clear measures" in which immediate measures must be taken to slow the pace of climate change, in relation to energy, pollution, land use, food, global economy and population.
While they stated that the planet is facing a climate emergency, they admit that making governments act will be a difficult sale and will involve "transforming the ways we govern, manage, eat and satisfy material and energy requirements", but there have been some signs of progress.
"We are encouraged by a recent global increase in concern. Government agencies are making climate emergency declarations. Schoolchildren strike. The causes for ecocide are proceeding in court. The movements of grassroots citizens demand change and many countries, states and provinces, cities and businesses are responding, "the document reads.
While governments and businesses are responding to boycotts and climate-related protests around the world, Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently announced that he wants to prevent Australians from exercising their right to take similar actions, even if it remains to see how the government intends to do it if such a practice ever really happens.
Thomas Newsome, one of the main authors of the warning, is one of many established Australians who have expressed opposition to the proposal.
"I think the growing concern about the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is leading people to express themselves in many different ways. Peacefully protesting and participating in strikes is a way to send a message and people have the right to do so, "said Dr. Newsome at news.com.au.
The dott. Newsome is one of the five scientists at the University of Sydney, Oregon State University, the University of Cape Town and Tufts University who wrote the warning, published today in the journal BioScience.
"From the data we have it is clear that we are facing a climate emergency," said Dr. Newsome. "Scientists have a moral obligation to warn humanity of any major threat," he added, although he also tried to avoid being sacked as the umpteenth prophet.
"While things go wrong, not everything is hopeless. We can take measures to deal with the climatic emergency ", said Dr. Newsome.
"Some people may not think they can make a difference, but many small changes can inspire larger-scale changes in political and economic frameworks," he added.
"As the impacts of climate change are becoming more evident and harmful, for example by recording heat waves and increasing extreme weather events, it is likely that people will begin to pay more attention and urge governments, policy makers and the business community to act ", said Dr. Newsome.
But there is more to be measured than just the temperature of the earth, and Dr. Newsome said that it is necessary to monitor a broader set of indicators, including human population growth, meat consumption, loss of tree cover , energy consumption, fossil fuel subsidies and annual economy losses due to extreme weather events ”.
Professor William Ripple, another lead author of the study, said that scientists are tired of being ignored.
"Despite 40 years of important global negotiations, we have generally conducted business as usual and we are essentially failing to deal with this crisis … climate change has arrived and is accelerating faster than many scientists expected."
In 1979, scientists from 50 countries met at the World Climate Conference in Geneva, a conference that was repeated in 1990 and again in 2009, and are among the many that have given rise to invitations to action to mitigate climate change.
The report says that, despite this, greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase, along with other threatening signs including an increase in per capita meat consumption and the number of airline passengers, as well as greater losses in the global coverage of trees, which reduces the earth's ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Last summer was the hottest ever recorded in Australia.
"SIX TRANSPARENT MEASURES" OF SCIENTISTS TO ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE
• Power: Implement mass conservation practices; replace fossil fuels with clean renewable sources; leave the remaining stocks of fossil fuels in the ground; eliminate subsidies to fossil fuel companies; and imposing carbon taxes high enough to limit the use of fossil fuels.
• Short duration pollutants: Quickly reduce emissions of methane, hydrofluorocarbons, soot and other short-term climate pollutants. This has the potential to reduce the short-term warming trend of over 50% in the coming decades.
• Nature : Withholding a massive clearing of the land. Restore and protect ecosystems such as forests, grasslands and mangroves, which would greatly contribute to the sequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, a fundamental greenhouse gas.
• Food: It mainly eats plants and consumes less animal products. This dietary change would significantly reduce the emissions of methane and other greenhouse gases and release agricultural land for the cultivation of human food rather than for livestock feed. Reducing food waste is also fundamental: scientists say that at least one third of all food produced ends up as garbage.
• Economy: Convert the dependence of the economy on carbon fuels to tackle human dependence on the biosphere. Move objectives away from the growth of gross domestic product and the search for wealth. Reduce the extraction of materials and the exploitation of ecosystems to maintain the sustainability of the biosphere in the long term.
• Population: Stabilize the global population, which increases by over 200,000 people a day, using approaches that guarantee social and economic justice.
The Oregon-based non-profit club, The Worthy Garden, a collective of entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs, energy specialists, farmers, scientists and astronomers, has provided partial support for the research.