14,000 Scientists Agree: We are in a climate emergency
Just yesterday, Italy recorded a ground temperature of 48.8°C, or just about 120°F, the hottest ground temperature in European record-keeping history. Scientists have long known the theoretical implications of a warming climate: extreme drought, increasingly intense storm systems, catastrophic flooding. This summer, those fears have been realized at a catastrophic scale. In China, over 744,000 people have been displaced from the abnormally intense flooding of the Yellow River. Heatwaves have swept Asia minor, leading to widespread wildfires and electricity blackouts throughout the region. In North America, cities as far east as New York City have been inundated with haze from forest fires on the west coast.
In response to these catastrophes, 14,000 of the world’s leading climate scientists have co-authored a paper warning of the “untold suffering” climate change is threatening to rain down on our civilization. In an effort to outline how unequivocally responsible we are for these disasters, the authors compiled a list of “planetary vital signs,” or factors representing significant drivers of climate forcing. They point out that “out of the 31 variables that we track, we found that 18 are at new all-time record lows or highs.” In other words, 18 out of 31 of the planet’s vital signs are worse than they have ever been.
The article points out that, while the coronavirus epidemic temporarily improved the trajectories of certain climate indicators, these reprieves were not enough to tip the needle. They write, “A major lesson from COVID-19 is that even colossally decreased transportation and consumption are not nearly enough and that, instead, transformational system changes are required, and they must rise above politics.” The toxic human-nature relationship that inaugurated this existential threat was left very much intact throughout the pandemic, and so, the authors suggest, climate mitigation policies must be aimed at this root cause, “the overexploitation of the Earth.”
The authors go further, providing guidance on the kinds of policy changes necessary to avoid catastrophe. They support a number of measures to alleviate these stressors, culminating in a “three-pronged near-term policy approach,” including carbon pricing, fossil fuel elimination, and “the development of strategic climate reserves to strictly protect and restore natural carbon sinks and biodiversity throughout the world (nature).”
Some might read this announcement with a combination of fear and disgust. This fear and disgust, in the absence of a clear avenue for recourse, can quickly transform into a kind of ecological nihilism. “I don’t have to recycle,” you explain, “have you seen today’s CO2 readings?”
The Open Forest Protocol was built as a solution to this kind of ecological nihilism. To the idea that climate action is impossible given economic and socio-cultural constraints, we at OFP say “hold my beer.” Our protocol uses a crypto-economic model that aligns each stakeholder’s incentives around ecosystem restoration, making it so that each party is rewarded for fighting climate change.
We know how bad the numbers are, and we realize the need to act right now in addressing climate change. Our blockchain solution is ready to onboard projects; anyone wishing to plant trees, preserve ecosystems, or otherwise contribute to the sustenance of forest-based carbon sinks can join our protocol right now. We are addressing climate change in accordance with the wishes of the world’s 14,000 most prominent climate scientists, by “restoring and permanently protecting Earth’s ecosystems to store and accumulate carbon and restore biodiversity.” If you want to promote and protect forests right now, join our protocol’s community today! Here’s the link!
Along with this alarming announcement, our team recently read an essay by Mary Annaïse Heglar titled Home is Always Worth It. In her essay, Heglar perfectly frames our sentiments about the predicament, so we’ll let her carry us home:
“…the thing about warming — whether we’re talking about the globe or an oven — is that it happens in degrees. That means that every slice of a degree matters. And right now, that means everything we do matters. We, quite literally, have no time for nihilism.”