Confronting the Changing Climate: COP26 – Scientists’ Warnings into Action, from Local to Global

By Chris Rhodes, Energy Balance

Human civilization stares out over a cliff edge. As a species in ecological overshoot, our journey cannot continue on its present path. The first Scientists Warning paper was issued in 1992, stressing mainly the ecological damage then inflicted by humans, and a 2017 study demonstrated that the subsequent twenty-five years had only witnessed further destruction of the ecosphere. The World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency report, published in 2019, which has now been endorsed by a total of 14,594 scientists from 158 countries, emphasised a set of collective actions, aimed toward restoring and protecting natural ecosystems, conserving energy, reducing food waste, the adoption of a more plant-based diet, population control and economic reforms. However, two subsequent papers, in 2020 and 2021 merely confirmed a further, dramatic deterioration of all climate markers. The “WORLD SCIENTISTS’ WARNINGS INTO ACTION” (SWIA) paper was published on Friday, November 12th (2021), formally the concluding day of the COP26 climate change conference, although a final agreement was not actually reached until late...