An international consortium of more than 11,000 scientists is backing a study with a dire warning: Earth is facing a climate emergency.
The new study of how human activities have impacted the planet over the past four decades declares that harmful greenhouse gas emissions are rapidly rising, that governments are making insufficient progress in tackling the crisis, and that scientists have “a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat.” The findings were published Tuesday in the journal BioScience.
“Lots of scientists have steered away from talking about population because it’s controversial,” said Steve Easterbrook, director of the University of Toronto’s School of the Environment, who was one of the study’s signatories. “The policy recommendations the study makes about gender equity and making family planning available to bring down the birth rate — these are completely consistent with studies of what we need to do in response to climate change. I’m glad to see it given more prominence than it normally gets.”