What's Your Moral Obligation in Response to Our Climate Emergency?


| 11/14/2019 10:01:00 AM


 

According to the Alliance of World Scientists, as professionals they have a moral obligation to warn humanity about what they see evidenced. On November 5, 2019, over 11,000 of the group's allied scientists warned us all again, this time via a formal statement in the journal BioScience: "Planet Earth is facing a climate emergency."

Now that the scientists have once again fulfilled their obligation to warn of danger, it's time for each of us to meet our moral obligations. What might that be? From my perspective, each of us has a responsibility to carefully consider the scientists' warnings, and then to respond with wise action.

The statement from the Alliance scientists was blunt: The climate crisis has arrived. It's more severe than anticipated. It's accelerating. It threatens everyone. Me. You. Your family. Everyone.

The warning is not new, but rather renewed. Forty years ago scientists from 50 nations met at the First World Climate Conference in Geneva. Then and there they agreed that unmistakably disturbing climate trends made it urgently necessary to respond. Since then scientists have sounded alarms repeatedly: at the 1992 Rio Summit, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the 2015 Paris Agreement, and at over 20 other global assemblies.



Yet another warning was set to be sounded in December in Chile at a meeting to prepare for the Paris Agreement, supposedly activating in 2020. But profit and politics have intervened. That December meeting has been cancelled. In any event, under the leadership of Republican President Donald J. Trump, the USA refuses to participate. The USA is not going to do much of anything, other than continue to drill and to burn.



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