Scientist Rebellion Australian Open Letter
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Scientist Rebellion Letter: We are Not Safe!
We, scientists and academics, believe we should expose the reality and severity of the climate and ecological emergency by engaging in non-violent civil disobedience. Unless the people best placed to understand the emergency take urgent action, then how can we expect the public to act? Some believe that appearing “alarmist” is too negative, but our terror at what we know means we have to be honest and open about the seriousness of the situation we are facing.
Mammals, birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles numbers have been dropping at alarming rates - 68% since 1970, along with an apparent collapse in the pollinator populations. In Australia, more than10% of the 320 land mammals recognized in 1788 are now extinct. Fires and land clearing are major contributors to these losses. Recent studies reveal Australia’s extinction rates are the highest in the world with many ecosystems collapsing here and in the Antarctic. Species loss and ecosystem collapse will have catastrophic consequences for humankind.
Hotter climates activate feedback loops which cause additional heating (e.g., increased forest fires, thawing permafrost, melting ice) threatening to irreversibly drive the Earth to a hotter uninhabitable state. Imagine 60-degree heat waves in Sydney! These effects are being observed decades earlier than predicted, in line with the worst-case scenarios forecasted. Increasingly severe heat waves, droughts and natural disasters are occurring year after year, not once every century or decade. Sea levels may rise by several metres this century, displacing hundreds of millions of people living in coastal areas.
There is a growing fear amongst scientists that simultaneous extreme weather events in major agricultural areas could cause global food shortages, and trigger societal collapse. For example, the drought in Syria (2011-2015) destroyed much of the country’s agriculture and livestock, driving millions into cities and sparking a civil war from which the world is still reeling. We face crises where the scale, intensity and frequency all increasing in severity.
We are alarmed at the extent of the problem and we understand how little is currently being done to address it.
Growth and profits are increasing at the same rate as the environmental destruction is worsening. We have to decarbonize now and those who are causing the damage must pay for measures to justly transition to a sustainable future for all.
We call on all academics, scientists and the public to join us in civil disobedience to demand the urgent decarbonization of our economy and the protection of the living world. The wealthy few need to be stopped from preventing us living sustainably and justly on this planet.
Tell the Truth: Governments, the media and the IPCC must admit and communicate climate failure around missing the global 1.5°C warming limit, and move into emergency-mode.
-They shall communicate to the public the urgency for change because we are not safe from the consequences of catastrophic climate collapse.
- Our governments, and media shall remove Coal, Gas and Oil companies and support of fossil fuels from Sporting events.
Act Now: Measures to protect us must be implemented now; that means reaching zero greenhouse gas emissions and stopping biodiversity loss as quickly as possible.
Citizens’ Assembly: Governments must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.
Signatories of our open letter:
Janine O’Keeffe, B.eng Electronic Engineering, MBA, International Relations
Brenda Tait, Master of Philosophy-Education
- Jane Morton, M.A. (Clin. Psych.)
- Karin Xuereb, MSc (Atmospheric Science), BSc (Physics)
- Harald Ehmann BSc, Masters Qualifying, Dip Ed
- Rosie Ganino, B.A.
- Richard Barnes, MBBS
- Lara Senior, PhD entomology
- Jodie Winnell, Bachelor of Environmental Science, Conservation Ecology
- Richard Weller, BE Structural
- Rebecca Krycer
- Larissa Payne, BA (History, Politics, English Lit), GradDipEd (Secondary), M.A. (Adv. Journalism - current)
- Margaret Bannan, Environmental Education
- Ian Pitt, PhD (Theoretical Chemistry)
- Leonie Halliday
- Udo Engelhardt
- Eva Knoet
- Karen Guy
- Stephen Corvini
- Coralie Boulet, PhD in Microbiology
- Peter Cook, B.Sc (Hons), Ph.D, F.A.P.S.
Administration Note: The first twenty signing this letter with Share Publicly marked shall be publicly listed.
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