A working group commissioned by The Pontifical Academy of Sciences [website & wikipedia entry] “to contemplate the observed retreat of the mountain glaciers, its causes and consequences” has released a report entitled Fate of Mountain Glaciers in the Anthropocene. The groups consensus statement is a warming to all humanity and a call for fast action. This is their declaration:
“We call on all people and nations to recognise the serious and potentially irreversible impacts of global warming caused by the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, and by changes in forests, wetlands, grasslands, and other land uses. We appeal to all nations to develop and implement, without delay, effective and fair policies to reduce the causes and impacts of climate change on communities and ecosystems, including mountain glaciers and their watersheds, aware that we all live in the same home. By acting now, in the spirit of common but differentiated responsibility, we accept our duty to one another and to the stewardship of a planet blessed with the gift of life.
We are committed to ensuring that all inhabitants of this planet receive their daily bread, fresh air to breathe and clean water to drink as we are aware that, if we want justice and peace, we must protect the habitat that sustains us. The believers among us ask God to grant us this wish. “
A pdf of the complete statement can be accessed here. The authors recommend pursuit of three measures:
- immediate reduction of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions,
- reduction of concentrations of warming air pollutants such as soot, ozone, methane and hydroflurocarbons by up to 50 percent, and
- preparation to adapt to climate changes that society will not be able to mitigate.