What scientists say about the climate emergency and existential risk

 Prof. TIMOTHY LENTON and colleagues
 “If damaging tipping cascades can occur and a global tipping point cannot be ruled out, then this is an existential threat to civilization. No amount of economic cost–benefit analysis is going to help us. We need to change our approach to the climate problem.”
      Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against

“As we live through this growing instability, it’s becoming harder to maintain a sense of professional detachment from the work that I do. Given that humanity is facing an existential threat of planetary proportions, surely it is rational to react with despair, anger, grief and frustration. To fail to emotionally respond to a level of destruction that will be felt throughout the ages feels like sociopathic disregard for all life on Earth.”
      The great unravelling: 'I never thought I’d live to see the horror of planetary collapse'

Prof. WILLIAM RIPPLE and colleagues
“In 2019 [we] warned of untold suffering and declared a climate emergency together with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from 153 countries… and presented graphs of planetary vital signs indicating very troubling trends, along with little progress by humanity to address climate change. On the basis of these data and scientists’ moral obligation to “clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat,” [we] called for transformative change.
      World scientists’ warning of a climate emergency 2021

“We do need a world-war type mobilization and that means putting in place incentives to move our economy as quickly as we can away from fossil fuels to renewable energy,”
      Climate scientist calls for ‘world war type mobilization’ to combat climate change

Existential risk management

LUKE KEMP and colleagues
“Prudent risk management requires consideration of the bad-to-worst-case scenarios… We know that temperature rise has “fat tails”: low-probability, high-impact extreme outcomes. Climate damages are likely to be nonlinear and result in an even larger tail. Too much is at stake to refrain from examining high-impact low-likelihood scenarios.”
      Climate Endgame: Exploring catastrophic climate change scenarios

“When the issue is the survival of civilization is at stake, conventional means of analysis may become useless.”
      'It’s nonlinearity - stupid!'

“Calculating probabilities makes little sense in the most critical instances, such as the methane-release dynamics in thawing permafrost areas or the potential failing of entire states in the climate crisis. Rather, we should identify possibilities, that is, potential developments in the planetary make-up that are consistent with the initial and boundary conditions, the processes and the drivers we know.”
      Foreword to What lies beneath

Sir DAVID KING and colleagues
“[We need to] develop and explore the potential of solutions to restore damaged climate systems, for example refreezing the Arctic and preventing major ice sheets (e.g. Greenland) from causing irreversible shifts in feedbacks due to albedo shifts, and impacts on ocean overturning of heat and catastrophic rates of sea level rise, for example with marine cloud brightening – engaging with and respecting the rights, wisdom and precautionary principles of the functioning of the planet, the affected Indigenous and local communities.”
      The global climate crisis and the action needed