The International Scientific Congress just finished their 2009 meeting on climate change. Over 2,500 scientists from around the world were in attendance. The conference concluded with six key messages:
Key excerpts from the press release include;
Recent observations confirm that, given high rates of observed emissions, the worst-case IPCC scenario trajectories (or even worse) are being realised… There is a significant risk that many of the trends will accelerate, leading to an increasing risk of abrupt or irreversible climatic shifts.
The research community is providing much more information to support discussions on “dangerous climate change”. Recent observations show that societies are highly vulnerable to even modest levels of climate change, with poor nations and communities particularly at risk.
This is as start a warning signal as has ever been issued on climate change. These are scientists, not science fiction authors (see Bruce Sterling’s “2009 will be a year of panic” post). They are not prone to exaggeration. We face the very real possibility of global extinction, not to mention widespread, severe and total systemic disruption.
The release concludes on a hopeful note, however, or at least one suggestive of a course of action:
There is no excuse for inaction. We already have many tools and approaches – economic, technological, behavioural, management – to deal effectively with the climate change challenge. But they must be vigorously and widely implemented to achieve the societal transformation required to decarbonise economies.
They call for a “societal transformation” to meet the climate challenge, “enabling the shifts from ineffective governance and weak institutions to innovative leadership in government, the private sector and civil society; and engaging society in the transition to norms and practices that foster sustainability.”
The full press release can be found here.