Scientists Consider Research Moratorium As Furstrations Mount Over Climate Inaction
Scientists say the wealth of climate science information being met with no action is a "conundrum." In response, they're calling for a moratorium on further climate research, according to an article in The Conversation. The piece was co-written by three scientists about: 1) what they refer to as the broken social contract between society and science, and 2) what can be done to change it. Boiled down, their main concern is that further scientific research and discovery could divert attention from the real problem -- a lack of decisive political action by "governments and political leaders across the board.
Why This Matters
Since 1990, global carbon dioxide levels have risen by 60% or higher. And despite how much evidence is presented and accepted as truth -- the necessary changes to avoid complete catastrophe aren't being made by those in power. While some progress was made at COP26, achieving the goal of the Paris Agreement to keep temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius is unlikely. A number of leading scientists say it's simply too little, too late.
What's the Point if Nobody Listens?
A moratorium on climate research means no more reports from the IPCC or warnings of damage to oceans, forests, and the atmosphere. And of course, to avoid society coming to a standstill, updated scientific information remains crucial. Shannon Osaka, a reporter for Grist, writes:
For four decades, scientists from across the globe have tried to warn humanity about the unmitigated burning of fossil fuels. They've predicted debilitating heatwaves, crushing droughts, and rising seas. They've courted the media and practically begged policymakers to cut the use of coal, oil, and gas. But for the most part, scientists have been ignored.
Scientists have stepped up to the plate and produced report after report warning society of the dangers of climate change. What they need in exchange is support. As Osaka concludes: "[Scientists'] failure is not due to a lack of trying, or poor communication skills; their failure is because scientists, alone, cannot solve climate change. They have, in a large part, done their work. The rest is up to us."