Photo Credit: Markus Winkler (UnSplash)
Furthering 6 climate stability actions
January 27, 2021 -- We at CBI have been in the global news media again for our project and communications work on converting global climate science recommendations into policies, plans, and actions on the ground.


Phoebe Barnard, Ph.D.
Chief Science | Policy Officer

How can we make changes to have a better, kinder, fairer, more biodiverse and sustainable society, in time to keep a reasonably stable climate?  

In a short article published January 6th in Scientific American, CBI’s chief science and policy officer, Dr. Phoebe Barnard, and her coauthors of the 2019 paper - which warned the world of the climate emergency - describe how 2020, despite the  COVID-19 pandemic, failed to bring anything remotely close to the necessary change.  

As a result, we’ll need to take more painful and costly actions to avert significant instability, and will need to achieve faster results. It’s smarter and cheaper to act now. 

We know that stability in the climate is associated with the flourishing of biodiversity, of civilization, of innovation and creativity, and of human prosperity and security. 

These aren’t things we want to gamble with. The Scientific American article reminds us of six clearly articulated areas of action we need to take:  

  • Energy: get off fossil fuels and conserve energy
  • Short-term atmospheric pollutants: reduce emissions of black soot, methane and hydrofluorocarbons
  • Nature: conserve ecosystems; halt habitat loss; let forests mature; restore ecosystem
  • Food systems: regenerate soils; improve farming; shift to more plant-based meals
  • Population stabilization: educate girls; create economic opportunities; offer family planning
  • Economic goals: shift to wellbeing outcomes

CBI is working in four of the six areas (energy, nature, food systems, and green economies), supporting important decisions, planning and policies on the ground, for example here and here

Phoebe, coauthor of three of the ‘scientists’ warnings’ articles, is working hard to increase planning, policy and action on the ground in these six core areas. She has spent time since publication of the 2019 paper working with elected officials in Washington and speaking globally on these six areas of action in media festivals ahead of the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

  • EarthX TV’s “#Overcoming Overshoot” series on population, consumption, planetary boundaries and the world scientists’ warning of a climate emergency paper: a conversation with Phoebe, geographer and author of A Planet of Three Billion, Dr. Chris Tucker, and ecologist and population writer Dr. Gary Wockner (October 5, 2020). See here.
  • Scientists’ Warning Europe’s (SWE’s) 8-day pre-COP26 Planet in Crisis festival of lectures, panel conversations, and special events. Phoebe organized a panel addressing participants from around the world on Investing in Nature Averts a Climate Emergency. The panel was atmospheric climate scientist Professor Chris Rapley, OBE, director of the African Center for a Green Economy, Dr. Mao Amis, and Phoebe. They highlighted how crucial are ecosystem conservation, forest management, and biodiversity restoration in averting the worst of the climate emergency (November 7, 2020). The recording is on the Scientists’ Warning Europe YouTube channel. In the same festival (November 8), Phoebe joined coauthor Professor Bill Moomaw of Tufts University on carbon uptake by mature forests. 
  • FacingFuture TV’s veteran climate and biodiversity journalist and producer, Stuart Scott, interviewed Phoebe at Thanksgiving on how nature conservation, better farming, plant-based meals, renewable energy, less waste, family planning, and wellbeing economic goals all intertwine in a future that shifts humanity toward a more sustainable society. If you haven’t watched “James Hansen: Speaking Truth to Power,” or “Jem Bendell: Because it’s Not a Drill,” see here and here.

Last and least, but because we’ve all been reminded why leadership matters: Phoebe spoke about mentorship as part of the global inter-generational conservation leadership program CoalitionWILD in a 36-sec personal testimonial, with a cameo appearance from Whidbey the Puppy, here


The Climate Emergency: 2020 in Review

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