The climate and ecological crises threaten every aspect of human civilisation. Despite decades of warnings from scientists and others, greenhouse gas emissions and temperatures continue to soar. A domino effect of climate tipping points threatens to push the Earth into a state that is alien and inhospitable to human civilisation.
Still, mega-corporations ransack the natural world with support from their servants in public office. Governments who stray from protecting corporate interest in favour of human need are attacked and delegitimised in the billionaire press, face the prospect of international capital flight, and of political or military coups. This corruption of democracy sits at the heart of climate inaction.
Billions are threatened with starvation, displacement, drought and inundation within the next few decades. Scientists know business as usual cannot continue: it’s time to put our bodies where our mouths are and resist, for truth and life.
The Climate and Ecological Crisis
Human industrial activity has impacted the world as severely as the asteroid which wiped out the dinosaurs. 70% of the mammals, fish, birds, plants, amphibians, reptiles, and around half of the insects annihilated. Greenhouse gas emissions and temperatures soaring faster than at perhaps any point in Earth’s history. Climate tipping points being crossed – like the melting of the Arctic – accelerating heating and stripping humanity of meaningful control over our future.
We are heading toward a world at least 4°C hotter this century. The effects will be catastrophic. Even 2°C – which we are set to burn through by 2050 – means billions without enough food and water, hundreds of millions of refugees, historic natural disasters virtually every year, war, disease. Without political and economic revolution we face a nightmare from which we cannot wake. Scientists know this, and we are starting to resist.
Why We Rebel
Scientists have spent decades writing papers, advising government, briefing the press: all have failed. What is the point in documenting in ever greater detail the catastrophe we face, if we are not willing to do anything about it?
Academics are perfectly placed to wage a rebellion: we exist in rich hubs of knowledge and expertise; we are well connected across the world, and to decision-makers; we have large platforms from which to inform, educate and rally others all over the world; and we have implicit authority and legitimacy, which is the basis of political power. We can make a difference. We must do what we can to halt the greatest destruction in human history.Monthly Review does not necessarily adhere to all of the views conveyed in articles republished at MR Online. Our goal is to share a variety of left perspectives that we think our readers will find interesting or useful. —Eds.