The CO2 Foundation is delighted to have released its first grant funds to support the 2022 update of the World Scientists Warning of a Climate Emergency. This effort is led by Dr. William Ripple, Distinguished Professor of Ecology at Oregon State University, Associate of the Conservation Biology Institute, and Director of the Alliance of World Scientists; the project’s goals are to share current climate data points, motivate diverse audiences to take action, and showcase effective solutions.
This project has its origins in the “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity,” published in 1992 by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and signed by over 1700 scientists. In 2017, on the 25th anniversary of this original Warning, Ripple led a group of scientists to evaluate our collective response in the intervening years. In a “Second Notice”, they documented their findings that humanity had failed to make progress in solving the identified challenges. Following this publication, the Alliance of World Scientists (AWS) was formed; it now has 26,000 members around the world, and works with partner organization Scientists Warning Foundation.
In January 2020, Dr. Ripple et al. published a Viewpoint article in BioScience, entitled “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency”; this article currently has 14,664 signatories from 158 countries, and is still accepting scientists’ signatures. The team updated this project with a follow-up article in 2021, and plans to produce annual reports with slightly different foci. The Foundation is supporting this year’s report, with addition of data points related to recent climate/weather-related disasters, followed by public outreach on the status of the climate emergency. Since the grant funds were released, Dr. Ripple and his associates, Dr. Chris Wolf and Dr. Jillian Gregg, have created a new counter tool for visualizing cumulative CO2 emissions.
The CO2 Foundation is enthusiastic about supporting this project because of the research team’s interest in adding data points related to extreme weather events, as well as its ability to share findings with a pre-existing network of engaged scientists and media outlets. We look forward to seeing how the 2022 report can be a focal point for the scientific community to engage in climate work, and also spur more action via media coverage and conversations.