Joining over 250 signatories from 30 nations around the world, I am calling on policymakers to engage more with the growing risk of societal disruption and collapse due to damage to the climate and wider environment. Each specialists in subject areas that related to the various challenges, we commonly believe it is time to listen to the sum of the scholarship on humanity's predicament. Our letter is available in both English and French, and extracts are published in today's edition of The Guardian. Find an extract from our letter below, the version in full together with the list of signatories here, and follow the commentary on social media using the hashtags #scholarswarning and #breakdownwarning.
"Subject: Only if we discuss collapse might we prepare
As scientists and scholars from around the world, we call on policymakers to engage openly with the risk of disruption and even collapse of our societies. After five years of failing to reduce carbon emissions in line with the Paris Climate Accord (1), we must now face the consequences.
While bold and fair efforts to cut emissions and naturally drawdown carbon are essential, researchers in many areas now consider societal collapse to be a credible scenario this century (2a & 2c). A range of views exist on the location, extent, timing, permanence and cause of such disruptions; but the way modern societies exploit people and nature is a common concern (3a & 3b).
Only if policymakers begin to discuss this threat of societal collapse might communities and nations begin to prepare and so reduce its likelihood, speed, severity, harm to the most vulnerable, and to nature."
Melissa Sterry, PhD, design scientist, systems theorist, biofuturist, and serial founder inc. Bionic City®.
Asking the question "how would nature design a city" since 2010.
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