ecoSanity’s urgent appeal to ‘Emergency’ Int’l Scientific Congress on Climate Change, Copenhagen

The appeal below was sent by e-mail to key organizers/participants of the March 10 – 12, 2009, ’emergency’ International Scientific Congress on Climate Change in Copenhagen.

After reading the validations of our position (further down), compare them to this March 13, 2009, summary of inadequate and underwhelming key outcomes of the congress in which more than 2,500 top scientists and delegates from nearly 80 countries warn that several key statistics (like the rate of sea level rise, for instance) are AT LEAST DOUBLE/ TWICE AS BAD/ HAPPENING TWICE AS FAST as previous estimates and that conditions are AT OR BEYOND THE WORST-CASE SCENARIO trajectories predicted by the IPCC only 2 years ago.

Not only do these updated conclusions amount to yet another dangerous underestimation of the latest science, it appears that the scientists do not intend to issue statements directly to government and international agencies to protect the future of humanity and life on Earth, even though the reports and presentations make it clear that the world is headed toward total climatic destruction.  Despite overwhelming evidence, the December climate conference in Copenhagen is being set up to sign away the future.  Even the science chair said the probable outcome would be far less than is needed.

There is no mention of the need to achieve virtual zero CO2 emissions as quickly as possible.  Press statements from the scientists suggesting that life on Earth could tolerate what would be devastating global average temp. increases of +2, +4, +6 ºC are insane and unscientific.  And they continue to deny that the world has reached a state of emergency beyond the point of “dangerous interference” with the climate system that threatens the ability of vulnerable populations (e.g. children, not even mentioned), future generations and most other life to survive.

Essential Conference Summaries:

Lord Stern on global warming: It’s even worse than I thought

“Lord Stern said new research done in the past two or three years had made it clear there were “severe risks” if global temperature rose by the predicted 4C to 7C by 2100. Agriculture would be destroyed and life would be impossible over much of the planet, the former World Bank chief economist said.”

(E-plea sent to key Climate Congress participants, March 10, 2009) commends the organizers and participants of this weeks International Scientific Congress on Climate Change in Copenhagen, Denmark, for their commitment to renew the scientific and democratic integrity of the UNFCCC process and for working to compile and publish a 30-page synthesis update of the most important post-IPCC 2007 climate research in June.

With millions of people in the most impoverished countries — those least responsible for the problem and least able to cope — suffering and dying RIGHT NOW from the rapidly accelerating devastation that decades of our collective neglect has caused, it is our hope that a post-conference statement will outline the urgent need for the UNFCCC Secretariat to be guided by the following indisputable necessities that are now imperative in order to preserve the prospect of a livable world for our children and insure the survival of all remaining life on Earth:

1) As a moral and scientific responsibility, and as a democratic right, we urge all climate change scientists to insist that essential, published, post-IPCC 2007 research be tabled with the UNFCCC for inclusion in all future international negotiations as quickly as possible.

2) We believe it is essential to officially declare the climate crisis to be a planetary emergency based on what is now the clear, present, unprecedented and accelerating threat of runaway global heating and risk of catastrophic global climate destabilization. In no uncertain terms, it must, at last, be stated that we are long past the point of dangerous interference with the climate system, and that we –- our species and most others -– cannot survive the global warming and climate change extremes that are predicted to ensue within the lifetimes of today’s children (let alone the cumulative, long-term impacts — 1,000 years!) if we delay emergency action any longer.

3) We believe it is now clear that only emergency international action far beyond economics and politics as usual has any hope to concurrently halt man made greenhouse gas emissions, remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere AND actively cool the Earth to the extent, and within the rapidly closing window of opportunity, necessary to prevent imminent and irreversible global catastrophe.  To achieve this requires a global transformation to a virtual zero carbon emission world and a return to 300 ppm as fast and as soon as possible.

Thank you for reading and best wishes for a productive session.


Glenn MacIntosh



Earth in imminent peril
Sea level could rise several metres by 2100, IPCC: 40 cm.

Climate warming gases rising faster than expected
1990’s = .9% per yr, since 2000, 3.5% per yr, beyond IPCC worst scenario.

Global warming 3 x faster than worst predictions
Arctic ice decline 7% over last 50 yrs compared to IPCC’s 2.5%.

Arctic summer ice could vanish by 2013 — IPCC: 2100

Carbon sink in southern ocean absorbs 10 x less

Ocean acidity rising at least 10 x faster, maybe 20 x

Epidemic of extinctions: decimation of life on Earth
Species declining at rate not seen since extinction of dinosaurs.

Global warming irreversible
Once released, CO2 lasts 1,000 years, does not dissipate.

Mass migrations, war: dire climate scenario
Stern: need zero carbon by 2050 or too many displaced too quickly.

Methane timebomb
Even 1% of melting permafrost carbon could double annual global emissions.

Scarcity of fresh water and food — hard to live!



Global Environment Outlook (GEO-4)
Most of Earth’s systems in decline.

WWF’s Climate Change: Faster, Stronger, Sooner
Global warming accelerating far beyond IPCC forecasts.

Climate Safety
Must rapidly decarbonize, not even 80% by 2050 matches problem, safe = 300 – 325 ppm.

State of the Cimate 2009
+1 ºC stabilization scenario, must halt all carbon emissions by 2050, then go negative.

Climate Code Red
Emergency action req’d, must remove carbon from atmosphere, safe climate = 300 ppm.




In theory, world leaders will gather in Copenhagen in December to attempt to negotiate a new global deal to regulate global warming emissions in order to avoid “dangerous” climate change.

Too late! Millions of people in the most impoverished countries — those least responsible for the problem and least able to cope — are suffering and dying RIGHT NOW from the way we in rich nations have chosen to live and the rapidly accelerating devastation that decades of our collective neglect has caused.

Even worse, negotiators have limited the range of their discussions to the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007), which was based on research that is now 4 years out of date, with conclusions that have since been shown to be dangerous and suicidal underestimations of the rapidly declining state of world climate.

And while the mission of this weeks congress is to create a 30-page synthesis update based on the most recent scientific revelations with which to target the participants of the UN conference and the media in December, the report cannot be seen as an official paper because it isn’t part of the political system. — Interview: Katherine Richardson, Copenhagen Congress Chair, Nature

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