Nukewatch Winter Quarterly 2019-2020
The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning endorsed by 11,000 scientists from 153 nations. The alarm was published in the journal BioScience on the 40th anniversary of the first world climate conference, which was held in Geneva in 1979. The urgently needed changes include ending population growth, leaving fossil fuels in the ground, halting forest destruction, and slashing meat eating. The authors set out a series of urgently needed actions:
• Use energy far more efficiently and apply strong carbon taxes to cut fossil fuel use.
• Stabilize global population—currently growing by 200,000 people a day—using ethical approaches such as longer education for girls.
• End the destruction of nature and restore forests and mangroves to absorb CO2.
• Eat mostly plants and less meat, and reduce food waste.
• Shift economic goals away from GDP growth. Responding to a separate assessment called the Emissions Gap Report, UN Secretary General António Guterres said, “There has never been a more important time to listen to the science. Failure to heed these warnings and take drastic action to reverse emissions means we will continue to witness deadly and catastrophic heat waves, storms and pollution.” —Somini Sengupta, New York Times, Nov. 26; and Damian Carrington, The Guardian, Nov. 5, 2019