Climate change: the WFSW sounds an alarm

The whole world faces a twofold challenge : to redefine the relations between human beings
and our planet, and relations among human beings

The situation is urgent!

Global warming, waste, depletion of natural resources, pollution— all these factors cause or aggravate the scourges affecting hundreds of millions of human beings, including in the rich countries: poverty, hunger, non-access to drinking water, illiteracy, epidemics, exoduses. Human activities are now changing the fundamental conditions of life on earth. The dangers are well known. They are scientifically documented. The future of human society is inseparable from the future of our planet.

The earth as a physical object in space which has already undergone great upheavals over 5 billion years will find other states of balance. What about life on Gaia? We human beings, who have occupied this planet only for 0.004% of this time, have in a few centuries, damaged the earth’s ecosystems and endangered our survival.

Researchers, engineers and technicians, teachers, in other words all our professions, our working conditions, or social aspirations must be viewed as inseparable from our commitment in the face of this twofold challenge.

“I am totally dependent on the life of others. I owe to Man what I know and what I think, and I discover that I am a member of a human community. My value consists in recognizing this.” Einstein

What is at stake is the political will of States. In keeping with their commitments, they must implement immediately the processes of reducing greenhouse gases. This calls for action on the part of the citizens of the entire world. The divergences that remain concerning this or that conclusion at a scientific level justify neither indifference nor inaction on the part of decision-makers or on the part of citizens. Such divergences have always existed.

Following in the footsteps of whistle-blowers, we call upon scientific workers and their organizations, trade unions as well as professional organizations, to act so as to:

1)      Adjust human activity to natural systems and anticipate the emergence of problems.

2)      Produce differently, saving natural resources and developing renewable energies while at the same time meeting the basic needs of all human populations.

3)      Organize the growth of some and the negative growth of others, through restraint, reduction of waste, balanced management of raw materials, and especially by giving priority to public needs shared by all.

This entails:

4)      A fundamental reorientation of political and economic choices. It is our duty as scientists to fight against the quasi-religious belief in the omnipotence of financial markets.

5)      A reduction in the extravagant inequalities between incomes as well as assets because of the injustice that they represent, but also because of the waste and damage to the environment that they cause. We support the idea of a worldwide tax on capital.

6)      Rebuilding international bodies with political and financial resources making it possible to achieve sustainable development and to share more equitably the fruits of growth.

Only one year remains before the 19th Conference on the Climate, to be held in Paris in 2015.The situation is urgent!