It sounds like a sci-fi movie plot. Scientists discover some sort of impending disaster, headed for earth, that threatens to wipe out life as we know it. They try to warn the world’s citizens, but most of the people are too busy with their daily lives and don’t hear their pleas. Unfortunately, this is not a movie plot, it’s what climate scientists are currently facing.
It’s a familiar plot, we’ve heard such doomsday predictions many times before, the threat of nuclear annihilation, Y2K, the end of the Mayan calendar. But this one is different, it’s not based on political conjecture, opinion, or superstition. The warnings are coming from the vast majority of climate scientists around the world, climate change is happening at an unprecedented rate, the use of fossil fuels by humans is a major contributor and the results of non-action will be catastrophic.
Responding to the lack of public concern, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the “world’s largest non-government general science membership organization and the executive publisher of Science a leading scientific journal.” has created a website called What We Know. They point out that many Americans still believe that climate scientists are divided on the issues, which is not the case. Over 97% of climate scientists are in agreement, climate change is happening and humans are contributing. The initiative aims to communicate the “3 R’s” of climate change, “Reality, Risk and Response”. Response is key, the sooner we act, the better off we will be, but time to do so is quickly running out.