Listen to “Earth911 Podcast: Dr. William Ripple on the State of the Climate Emergency in 2021” on Spreaker.
Earth911 talks with Dr. William Ripple, Distinguished Professor of Ecology at Oregon State University and director of the Alliance of World Scientists, who is the lead author of a call for action in response to the catastrophic climate damage the world experienced during 2020 in Scientific American. Pointing to record global temperatures, a historically long hurricane season that caused more than $46 billion in damages in the United States, and wildfires that burned more than 4 million acres in California, they declared that “The climate emergency has arrived and is accelerating more rapidly than most scientists anticipated.”
Dr. Ripple explains how 2020, which tied 2016 for hottest year on record, saw events that suggest climate change is accelerating. Science-based warnings may have been too conservative, and that the new normal will likely look like a series of catastrophes, with widespread damage happening every year in many regions of the planet, if humanity does not immediately stop the growth in CO2 emissions. He suggests six key areas of action, including a shift to plant-based diets and reducing food waste, a focus on eliminating short-term pollutants such as hydrofluorocarbons used as refrigerants, as well as universal education for girls and women to lower birth rates and encourage wider awareness of climate impacts. We also discuss the pressing need to address climate migration in global and national planning.
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This podcast was originally published on January 20, 2021.