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Immediate action is needed to save the long-term future

By John Avery - posted Monday, 18 February 2019

Here is a recent statement by Jakob von Uexküll, founder of the World Future Council:

Today we are heading for unprecedented dangers and conflicts,up to and including the end of a habitable planet in the foreseeablefuture, depriving all future generations of their right to life and thelives of preceding generations of meaning and purpose.

This apocalyptic reality is the elephant in the room. Current policies threaten temperature increases triggering permafrostmelting and the release of ocean methane hydrates which would make our earth unliveable, according to research presented by theBritish Government Met office at the Paris Climate Conference.

The myth that climate change is conspiracy to reduce freedomis spread by a powerful and greedy elite which has largely capturedgovernments to preserve their privileges in an increasingly unequal world.

Similarly, 15-year-old Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg, described our present situation in the following words:


When I was about 8 years old, I first heard about something called 'climate change' or 'global warming'. Apparently, that was something humans had created by our way of living. I was told to turnoff the lights to save energy and to recycle paper to save resources.I remember thinking that it was very strange that humans, whoare an animal species among others, could be capable of changingthe Earth's climate. Because, if we were, and if it was really hap-pening, we wouldn't be talking about anything else. As soon asyou turn on the TV, everything would be about that. Headlines,radio, newspapers: You would never read or hear about anythingelse. As if there was a world war going on, but no one ever talkedabout it. If burning fossil fuels was so bad that it threatened ourvery existence, how could we just continue like before? Why were there no restrictions? Why wasn't it made illegal?

Why do we not respond to the crisis?

Today we are faced with multiple interrelated crises, for example the threat of catastrophic climate change or equally catastrophic thermonuclear war,and the threat of widespread famine. These threats to human existence and to the biosphere demand a prompt and rational response; but because ofinstitutional and cultural inertia, we are failing to take the steps that arenecessary to avoid disaster.

Only immediate action can save the future

Immediate action to halt the extraction of fossil fuels and greatly reduce theemission of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses is needed to save the long-term future of human civilization and the biosphere.

At the opening ceremony of United Nations-sponsored climate talks in Katowice, Poland, (COP24), Sir David Attenborough said "Right now, we are facing aman-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest in thousands of years.Climate change. If we don't take action, the collapse of our civilizations andthe extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon. The world'speople have spoken. Their message is clear. Time is running out. They want you, the decision-makers, to act now."

Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General, said climate change was already "a matter of life and death" for many countries. He added that the world is "nowhere near where it needs to be" on the transition to a low-carbon economy.


Swedish student Greta Thunberg, is a 15-year-old who has launched aclimate protest movement in her country. She said, in a short but very clears peech after that of UN leader Antonio Guterres: "Some people say that I should be in school instead. Some people say that I should study to become a climate scientist so that I can 'solve the climate crisis'. But the climate crisis has already been solved. We already have all the facts and solutions."

She added: "Why should I be studying for a future that soon may be no more, when no one is doing anything to save that future? And what is thepoint of learning facts when the most important facts clearly mean nothingto our society?"

Thunberg continued: "Today we use 100 million barrels of oil every singleday. There are no politics to change that. There are no rules to keep that oil in the ground. So we can't save the world by playing by the rules. Because the rules have to be changed."

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John Avery has written a new book about the steps needed to save the future for our children and grandchildren which can be downloaded from

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About the Author

John Avery is a theoretical chemist at the University of Copenhagen. He is noted for his books and research publications in quantum chemistry, thermodynamics, evolution, and history of science. His 2003 book Information Theory and Evolution set forth the view that the phenomenon of life, including its origin, evolution, as well as human cultural evolution, has its background situated in the fields of thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and information theory.

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