La Verdad

Nos enfrentamos a una emergencia global sin precedentes. La vida en la Tierra está en crisis: los científicos están de acuerdo en que hemos entrado en un período de abrupto colapso climático y estamos en medio de una extinción masiva de nuestra propia creación.

The Emergency

"We are in a planetary emergency" - Prof. James Hansen, former Director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
"Climate change is a medical emergency…It thus demands an emergency response…" - Prof. Hugh Montgomery, director of the University College London Institute for Human Health and Performance, Lancet Commission Co-Chair
"This is an emergency and for emergency situations we need emergency action." – Ban Ki-Moon, former UN Secretary General
"Act now to save our planet and our future from the climate emergency." - Antonio Guterres UN Secretary-General

Warnings

At the end of 2018, the UN Secretary General warned us:

  • Humanity and life on Earth now face a 'direct existential threat'
  • The world must act swiftly and robustly to keep global warming under 1.5°C and try to avoid utterly catastrophic impacts to life on Earth.

Human activity is causing irreparable harm to the life on this world. A mass extinction event, only the sixth in roughly 540 million years, is underway. Many current life forms could be annihilated or at least committed to extinction by the end of this century.

The air we breathe, the water we drink, the earth we plant in, the food we eat, and the beauty and diversity of nature that nourishes our psychological well-being, all are being corrupted and compromised by the political and economic systems that promote and support our modern, consumer-focussed lifestyles.

We must act while we still can. What we are seeing now is nothing compared to what could come.

Effects on global human society, if the climate and ecological emergency is not addressed, may spiral out of control.

  • Sea level rise
  • Desertification
  • Wildfires
  • Water shortage
  • Crop failure
  • Extreme weather
  • Millions displaced
  • Disease
  • Increased risk of wars and conflicts

But our leaders are failing in their duty to act on our behalf. Our current systems of governance is compromised by a focus on profits and economic growth. Politicians can be influenced by lobbies of powerful corporations and the media are hampered by vested interest of corporate advertisers undermining our democratic values.

We have run out of the luxury of time to react incrementally..

We must radically and immediately begin reducing emissions and improving carbon absorption, drawing it down and locking it up again.

Only a peaceful planet-wide mobilisation of the scale of World War II will give us a chance to avoid the worst case scenarios and restore a safe climate

The task before us is daunting but big changes have happened before.

Let’s make a better world.

The Crises

1992

“World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity”

In 1992, the Union of Concerned Scientists including the majority of living science Nobel laureates, penned the “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity” calling on humankind to curtail environmental destruction and warning that “a great change in our stewardship of the Earth and the life on it is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided.” They showed that humans were on a collision course with the natural world. They proclaimed that fundamental changes were urgently needed to avoid the consequences our present course would bring.

The authors of the 1992 declaration feared that humanity was pushing Earth’s ecosystems beyond their capacities to support the web of life. They described how we are fast approaching many of the limits of what the biosphere can tolerate without substantial and irreversible harm. They implored that we cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and phase out fossil fuels, reduce deforestation, and reverse the trend of collapsing biodiversity.

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2017

World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice

In 2017, humanity was given a second notice. Over 15,000 scientists signed a new and even more urgently worded letter which warned that “To prevent widespread misery and catastrophic biodiversity loss, humanity must practice a more environmentally sustainable alternative to business as usual. This prescription was well articulated by the world’s leading scientists 25 years ago, but in most respects, we have not heeded their warning. Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out. We must recognize, in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions, that Earth with all its life is our only home.”

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1.1°C

Humans have raised the planet’s temperature 1.1°C

Over 50% of the human addition of carbon to the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels has occurred in the last 25 years – i.e. since the IPCC was founded.

Human activities have caused the planet's average surface temperature to rise about 1.1°C since the late 19th century. Most of the warming occurred in the past 35 years.

Global Mean Temperature

1,000x

Species extinction rates 1,000 times normal

A “biological annihilation” of wildlife in recent decades means the Sixth Mass Extinction in Earth’s history is under way.

Looking at the UK for example, the 2016 State of Nature report found that they were “among the most nature-depleted countries in the world”. One in five British mammals are at risk of being lost from the countryside with the populations of hedgehogs and water voles declining by almost 70% in just the past 20 years. Whilst another new report by the British Trust for Ornithology found that more than a quarter of British bird species are threatened, including the Puffin, the Nightingale and Curlew. Across Europe the abundance of farmland birds has fallen by 55% in the just the past three decades!

76%

Decline in flying insect biomass

Catastrophic reductions in global insect populations have profound consequences for ecological food chains and human crop pollination.

There is strong evidence that many insect populations are under serious threat and are declining in many places across the globe. Multiple pressures might include habitat loss, agro-chemical pollutants, invasive species and climate change.

124 million

People suffering acute food insecurity

More frequent and severe water extremes, including droughts and floods, impact agricultural production, while rising temperatures translate into increased water demand in agriculture sectors.

“We have already observed impacts of climate change on agriculture. We have assessed the amount of climate change we can adapt to. There’s a lot we can’t adapt to even at 2ºC. At 4ºC the impacts are very high and we cannot adapt to them” – Dr. Rachel Warren, University of East Anglia

2x

Water withdrawals grew at almost twice the rate of population increase

Water withdrawals grew at almost twice the rate of population increase in the twentieth century.

The global water cycle is intensifying due to climate change, with wetter regions generally becoming wetter and drier regions becoming even drier. A 2018 UN report highlights that at present, an estimated 3.6 billion people (nearly half the global population) live in areas that are potentially water-scarce at least one month per year, and this population could increase to some 4.8–5.7 billion by 2050.

130 million

2°C warming would threaten to inundate areas now occupied by 130 million people

Sea level is rising faster in recent decades. Sea level rise is caused primarily by two factors related to global warming: the added water from melting ice sheets and glaciers and the expansion of seawater as it warms. Sea level rises will cause inundation of low lying land, islands and coastal cities globally.

As sea level rises higher over the next 15 to 30 years, tidal flooding is expected to occur much more often, causing severe disruption to coastal communities, and even rendering some areas unusable — all within the time frame of a typical home mortgage.

30%

The oceans have already become 30% more acidic

The oceans are already become 30% more acidic, as carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels dissolves it alters the chemistry of the sea water. On our current emission trajectory, in 2100, the pH increase of the ocean will see a 150% increase in acidity! This will affect marine life from shellfish to whole coral reef communities by removing needed minerals that they use to grow their shells. The oceanic conditions will be unlike marine ecosystems have experienced for the last 14 million years.

Ocean PH Projections

12.8%

Arctic sea ice is now declining at a rate of 12.8 percent per decade

Arctic sea ice is now declining at a rate of 12.8 percent per decade.

Summer Arctic sea ice is predicted to disappear almost completely by the middle of this century.

“We may lose the summer ice cover as early as 2030. This is in itself much earlier than projections from nearly all climate model simulations.” – Prof. Mark Serreze Director of the National Snow and Ice Data Centre

9 million

In 2015 all forms of pollution were responsible for an estimated 9 million deaths

All forms of pollution were responsible in 2015 for an estimated 9 million premature deaths—16% of all deaths worldwide—as well as for 268 million disability-adjusted life-years. Pollution is thus the world’s largest environmental cause of disease and premature death.

As the world gets hotter and more crowded, our engines continue to pump out dirty emissions, and half the world has no access to clean fuels or technologies (e.g. stoves, lamps), the very air we breathe is growing dangerously polluted: nine out of ten people now breathe polluted air, which kills 7 million people every year. (Ambient air pollution: 4.2 million deaths; household air pollution: 2.8 million deaths)

50%

50% of the planet’s topsoil has been lost in the last 150 years

More than 95% of what we eat comes from soil. It takes about 500 years to form 2.5 cm of top soil under normal agricultural condition.

Soil erosion and degradation has been increased dramatically by the human activities of deforestation for agriculture, overgrazing and use of agrochemicals.

50% of the planet’s topsoil has been lost in the last 150 years, leading to increased pollution, flooding and desertification. Desertification itself currently affects more than 2.7 billion people