“Rapid emissions reduction is required to restore Earth’s energy balance and avoid ocean heat uptake that would practically guarantee irreversible effects. Continuation of high fossil fuel emissions, given current knowledge of the consequences, would be an act of extraordinary witting intergenerational injustice.”
This may sound like the kind of call-to-arms you could have read in an editorial just yesterday, but that quote is actually from a PLOS ONE paper published in 2013 from noted Climate Scientist James Hansen.
Six years later (just this week) the Washington Post published its analysis of multiple temperature data sets. In short, many areas worldwide have hit the 2 degrees Celsius warming mark that Dr. Hansen warned about. Many scientists say that is the tipping point if the planet is to avoid catastrophic and irreversible consequences.
The message is clear: the time to act is now.
So, what have policymakers from around the world done to forestall this growing threat to the planet that we all share? Mainly incremental steps, and in some cases, outright reversals. See here, here, here, and here.
To save our planet, we need to stand up and support one another to make our voices – and the evidence of science – heard.
PLOS stands with the young activists across the world who have taken action and organized the Global Climate Strike on September 20. Their global call to action is meant to apply pressure on policymakers and drive change as world leaders gather on September 23rd at the United Nations Climate Action Summit. Thousands of scientists worldwide have signed letters endorsing the climate strikes, and we stand with them. We are giving all PLOS staff the opportunity to take the day and march to raise their voice for change.
Multiple scientific reports have highlighted the disastrous effects of the climate crisis caused by manmade carbon emissions. The food we eat, the water we drink, the place we live are at great risk if we fail to act now. As their website says, “the world is on fire, let’s act like it.” We hope you stand with us.