Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to University World News, 23,000 scientists have signed a petition supporting the climate change student strikes.
Scientists unite to back strikes for climate change
Michael Gardner 23 March 2019
Academics in Germany, Switzerland and Austria have joined forces in support of the ‘Fridays for Future’ school strikes addressing climate change. They call for urgent action to halt global warming.
A joint petition written by ‘Scientists for Future’ and signed by more than 23,000 academics in the three German-speaking countries calls for immediate steps to be taken to tackle climate change and emphasises that the school protests initiated by Swedish campaigner Greta Thunberg are fully justified.
The petition stresses that a range of social and technological innovations already exist that “can maintain quality of life and improve human well-being without destroying our natural resources”.
Scientists4Future was initiated by Gregor Hagedorn, coordinator for national and international research infrastructures at the Museum für Naturkunde – Leibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Science in Berlin.
…Read more: https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20190321152316347
The following is the letter from the Scientists 4 future website (translated by Google Translate):
Statement from scientists on the protests for more climate protection – # Scientists4FutureSource: https://www.scientists4future.org/stellungnahme/
The concerns of the demonstrators young people are entitled
At present, many young people regularly demonstrate for climate protection and the preservation of our natural livelihoods. As scientists, we explain on the basis of reliable scientific findings: These concerns are justified and well justified. The current measures for climate, species, forest, marine and soil protection are far from sufficient.
The Paris Agreement on Climate Change of 2015 obligates states under international law to keep global warming well below 2 ° C. In addition, all countries have pledged efforts to limit warming to 1.5 ° C.
It is now important to reduce the net emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases quickly and reduce them to zero at the latest worldwide between 2040 and 2050. Faster lowering increases the likelihood of reaching 1.5 ° C. The burning of coal should be almost completed by 2030, and the burning of oil and natural gas reduced simultaneously, until all fossil fuels have been replaced by climate-neutral energy sources. Taking global climate justice into account, this change would have to be even faster in Europe.
Even if there is still a need for participation and discussion: Now action must be taken. Both are not mutually exclusive. There are already many social and technological innovations that can preserve the quality of life and enhance human well-being without destroying our natural resources.
In all German-speaking countries , the necessary scale and speed are not achieved in the transformation of energy, nutrition, agriculture, resource use and mobility. Germany will miss the self-imposed climate protection targets for 2020 and the achievement of the goals of the German Sustainability Strategy for 2030 is also highly endangered. In addition, there is still a lack of an effective climate protection law. Austria has set goals in its climate and energy strategy that are in no way in line with the Treaty of Paris, and for that purpose neither the necessary measures nor the financial means are provided for. At the same time, soil consumption and sealing per person per year in Austria are the highest in Europe.Switzerland has only slightly reduced its greenhouse gas emissions since 1990; At the same time, emissions generated abroad increased significantly. In the first parliamentary debate on the total revision of the CO2 Act, the domestic reduction targets were deleted and the reduction of Swiss emissions was to be compensated abroad. After all, the law has failed for the time being.
Young people rightly demand that our society focus on sustainability without further hesitation. Without profound and consistent change, their future is in danger. Among other things, this change means: We are introducing new sources of energy and renewable energies with the necessary speed. We consistently implement energy-saving measures. And we are fundamentally changing our diet, mobility and consumption patterns.
Politicians, in particular, are responsible for promptly creating the necessary framework conditions. In particular, climate-friendly and sustainable action must become simple and cost-effective, climate-damaging action unattractive and expensive (eg through effective CO2 prices, cessation of subsidies for climate-damaging activities and products, efficiency regulations and social innovations). A socially balanced distribution of the costs and benefits of change is essential.
The enormous mobilization of the new movements (“Fridays for Future” in Germany and Austria, “climate strike” in Switzerland) shows that the young people understood the situation. As scientists, we can only emphatically underline their demand for quick and consistent action.
As people who are familiar with scientific work and are concerned about current developments, we consider it our social responsibility to point out the consequences of inadequate action.
Only by acting swiftly and consistently can we limit global warming, stop the mass extinction of plant and animal species, preserve the natural foundations of life, and create a livable future for present and future generations. This is exactly what the young people want to achieve from “Fridays for Future”. They deserve our respect and our full support.
Despite claiming an ongoing mass extinction event, still not one word of support for nuclear power, the only scalable zero carbon energy source which might attract support from conservatives.