The Human and Planetary Existential Emergency

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What Other Say About the Planetary Emergency

Yes, the Climate Crisis May Wipe out Six Billion People. September 18, 2019

William E. Rees, the creator of the ‘ecological footprint,’ argues that “the long-term human carrying capacity of Earth — after ecosystems have recovered from the current plague — is probably one to three billion people, depending on technology and material standards of living. ... Getting there would mean five to nine billion fewer people on the planet. This is where we end up after a recovery following either controlled descent or chaotic crash.”

Only an Asteroid Hit or a Supervolcano ..., December 22, 2023

Paul Beckwith: Only an Asteroid Hit or a Supervolcano this Week Can Keep Us Below 1.5 C According to Berkeley Earth. With one more week left to close out 2023, we are over 99% certain to surpass 1.5 C above the 1850 to 1900 baseline. We have had an exceptional acceleration in global warming this year, unlike anything we have ever seen before. The Berkeley Earth year end report link is here:

Just Think, October 30, 2023

The latest edition of Just Think on YouTube, addresses the fact that many scientific assessments of climate change are far too conservative and underestimate the true scale of the risk for civilisation.

Johan Rockström, September 22, 2023

In an article in Times, Johan Rockström succinctly describes the emergency: “Humanity has reached a saturation point on planet Earth. There is no atmospheric space left to safely add more greenhouse gases, we cannot lose more intact nature or wild species, the oceans are at or beyond biological carrying capacity. We are hitting the planetary ceiling of hard-wired processes that regulate the stability and determine the livability on Earth. For the first time we face the risk of destabilizing the entire planet.

ChatGPT, April 26, 2023

Hans-Peter Plag had a dialog with ChatGPT (Version of March 2023) on the planetary emergency. ChatGPT agreed that "There is no doubt that we are facing a planetary emergency caused by a combination of environmental crises, including climate change, biodiversity loss, deforestation, air and water pollution, and the depletion of natural resources. The impacts of these crises are already being felt by many people around the world, and they are expected to worsen in the coming decades." The full dialog is available here.

Julian Cribb, February 18, 2023

In his article “A Plan for Human SurvivalJulian Cribb concludes “The Earth is a lifeboat, sinking under the pressures of overcrowding and demand. We either row it together – or we go down together. The choice is stark, and it is now before us.” He lists the urgent actions needed to avoid the sinking of the boat:

  • An Earth System Treaty addressing all the catastrophic threats, open for all to sign.
  • A ban on all nuclear weapons.
  • An end to the use of fossil fuels, to stem both climate change and global poisoning.
  • A Renewable (or circular) World Economy
  • New Human Rights, including a Right Not to Be Poisoned
  • A Global Technology Convention to oversee all powerful new technologies before they are put to dangerous misuse.
  • A World Truth Commission, to expose the liars and their lies to public shame.
  • A Human Survival Index, to inform everyone how risky is our plight and the progress we are making towards making the world safer
  • Renewable Food for everyone, to sustain all humanity and reduce the threat of war.
  • A World Population Plan, providing voluntary family planning for all.
  • A Stewards of the Earth plan for rewilding half the Earth
  • A world pandemic plan to prevent and arrest the uncontrolled spread of disease by human behaviour.
Ripple et al., February 17, 2023

In the article “Many risky feedback loops amplify the need for climate action” by William Ripple and colleagues state that many feedback loops are significantly increase the global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions. Since not all of these feedbacks are fully accounted for in climate models, the mitigation pathways could fail to sufficiently limit the increase in global temperature. There is a danger that not considering the possibility of much larger increases than those predicted for different pathways could lead to failed mitigation and adaptation efforts.

IPPR, February, 2023

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has published the report “1.5°C – DEAD OR ALIVE?THE RISKS TO TRANSFORMATIONAL CHANGE FROM REACHING AND BREACHING THE PARIS AGREEMENT GOAL” (pdf) by Laurie Laybourn, Henry Throp and Suzannah Sherman. “This paper is an output of the Cohort 2040 project, in collaboration with IPPR and Chatham House. This project seeks to better understand how the millennial and younger generations can provide the effective and transformational leadership needed to secure a better world even as environmental destabilisation grows.” This report underlines the urgency of action to reduce the existential threats for future generations: “The historical failure to sufficiently tackle the climate and ecological crisis could create consequences that challenge the ability of societies to tackle the root causes of this crisis. The vast changes needed to limit global heating and restore nature must be achieved in ever shorter periods of time.

Julian Cribb, January 5, 2023

The book “How to Fix a Broken Planet: Advice for Surviving the 21st Century” by Julian Cribb makes a strong case about the planetary emergency modern civilization has caused, and identifies the urgent steps that are needed if a collapase is to be avoided. The threats faced are thoroughly analysed and the actions needed are clearly identified.

Julian Cribb, September 24, 2022

In the blog “Here comes the Catastrophocene ...,” Julian Cribb gives a concise and comprehensive summary of the mega-threats the planetary system and humanity are facing.

A call to action: mega-risks we face and the solutions we need, March 21, 2021

The Council for the Human Future, Common Home of Humanity, and MAHB started the petition “A call to action: mega-risks we face and the solutions we need” at the end of the conference “Delivering the Human Future” on March 21, 2021.

Club of Rome, 2019

The Club of Rome declared a Planetary Emergency in 2019 and published the first edition The Planetary Emergency Plan. More information is available on the Planetary Emergency Page. The Club of Rome maintaince the Planetary Emergency Impact Hub and is part of the Planetary Emergency Partnership.

William Ophuls, 2018

In his book “Apologies to the Grandchildren — Reflections on our Ecological Predicament, Its Deeper Causes, and its Political Consequences,” Ophuls states “Civilization is, by its very nature, a long-running Ponzi scheme. It lives by robbing nature and borrowing from the future, exploiting its hinterland until there is nothing left to exploit, after which it implodes. While it still lives, it generates a temporary and fictitious surplus that it uses to enrich and empower the few and to dispossess and dominate the many. Industrial civilization is the apotheosis and quintessence of this fatal course. A fortunate minority gains luxuries and freedoms galore, but only by slaughtering, poisoning, and exhausting creation. So we bequeath you a ruined planet that dooms you to a hardscrabble existence, or perhaps none at all.

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