For weeks now schoolchildren and students have been playing truant for the climate every Thursday. Now that the exams are over students too will be out in force and are throwing their weight behind the protests. Last Sunday despite bad weather 70,000 people marched to protest for greater action.
Sara Vicca of Antwerp University warns that too often discussions are approached with an ideological slant. Discussions about thinking of the worst case scenario are a distraction. The essential thing is to tackle the problem. Sara Vicca says the scientific world wishes to send a clear signal. People taking action are right. More action is absolutely crucial.
Biologist Jasper Bloemen of Antwerp University: "We want the climate debate to be discussed on the basis of facts without any distortion by people shouting that there is no climate change or it isn't that bad."
The open letter includes seven scientific points including: the earth is warming up. Worldwide temperatures have already risen by 1°C compared to 1850-1900. Climate proposals discussed today if acted upon will lead to a temperature rise of over 3°C by the end of the century and that is disastrous the Belgian scientists claim.
Jasper Bloemen: "We hope policymakers will look at the whole picture of structural measures and not just at isolated measures. Only in this way can the reduction in CO2 emissions be realised.
Over 3,400 scientists have signed the Scientists4Climate letter including the rectors of the five Flemish universities. The scientists are acting across all fields of science. Climate change is a topic in a host of disciplines and sorting climate change requires input from scientists from all fields.
Read the letter here.