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

Reader Contribution by Steven Mcfadden
article image

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.

If you want action, you are going to have to take it yourself. And if you don’t want action, then you are asleep at the wheel.

The 11,000+ Alliance scientists agreed in their statement that to ease the epic suffering due to the climate crisis, we need an immense increase in our efforts to conserve our biosphere. By default, at least for now, it’s up to us to find and implement our own responses.

To secure the future, we must change how we live, in ways that improve our planet’s vital signs.

As you contemplate your responses to the warnings and the harsh reality they describe, I encourage you to research and then to implement sustaining and earth-healing agroecological initiatives. They mitigate climate change, and they accentuate food security.

By agroecology I mean the range of human initiatives ranging from composting, and backyard, neighborhood, and community gardens to food coops, farmers markets, CSAs, urban farms, organics, biodynamics, permaculture, community kitchens, and more. There are thousands upon thousands of such initiatives in America and globally. Now we need millions more of these initiatives. In my view it is fundamentally wise and necessary to be actively involved with agroecology. Now.

Photo credit courtesy of Extinction Rebellion.

Independent journalist Steven McFadden is rooted in cyberspace atDeepAgroecology.net. Information about his wider work and all of his nonfiction books is available atChiron-Communications.com. You can read all of his Mother Earth News postshere.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on their byline link at the top of the page.

Need Help? Call 1-800-234-3368