Scientists Call for a Climate Breakthrough
Dire climate warnings are failing to mobilize public action. There are many reasons for the lack of public response.
- Complex scientific language is difficult for the public to understand.
- Scientists are often hesitant to comment on the implications of their findings, and are often measured in tone. Denialists have filled this void.
- People don’t know how to respond or take action, so they tune out climate warnings.
- Even climate publications aimed at raising public awareness will fail to reach citizens if not part of a larger program designed to do so.
Some prominent consensus science warnings have not been framed in clear and simple terms aimed at the public, and had no follow-through mechanism to translate the warnings into action.
A clear message from the scientific community will help cut through the noise and guide our collective efforts. This statement is framed in basic terms, its points are calls to action, and it is part of a large-scale campaign involving media, education, and outreach to awaken and organize public response.
Breakthrough Scientific Statement on Climate Stabilization
Warming of 2°C above pre-industrial levels is widely considered the heat limit to avert the most dangerous effects of runaway climate change and the risk of irreversible tipping points. Our present carbon emissions pathway puts us on a course to hit and then exceed this limit. Climate stabilization under this international consensus 2°C threshold is the ultimate and necessary goal. For this likelihood, the following actions must be taken to combat climate change:
1. Peak carbon emissions now. Begin reductions now in industrialized nations, and within a few years
in developing nations.
2. Reduce emissions several percent per year and quickly transition from fossil fuels to low carbon energy.
3. The US must lead. The US must embrace the 2°C limit, and lead the global low carbon mobilization corresponding to a reasonable and realistic stabilization pathway.
Speak Out and Lend Your Voice to Urgent Large-Scale Action
We are calling on you to sign on to this Breakthrough Scientific Statement on Climate Stabilization, and help engage other climate scientists to sign on to this Statement. Your support is crucial for the success of a broad-scale climate breakthrough campaign.