On 18 February 2007, the board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society, publicly issued a strong statement regarding global environmental change, “The scientific evidence is clear: global climate change caused by human activities is occurring now, and it is a growing threat to society.”

The board’s statement was released during a town hall meeting of school teachers at the 2007 AAAS annual meeting in San Francisco and represents its first consensus on global climate change. It follows the 2 February 2007 report released by the Physical Science Basis Working Group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that concluded, “Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely [greater than 90 percent certain] due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”

Further, the AAAS board warned, “Delaying action to address climate change will increase the environmental and societal consequences as well as the costs. The longer we wait to tackle climate change, the harder and more expensive the task will be.”

The statement by the AAAS board represents a growing call-to-action by scientific, environmental, and business organizations to address global climate change. On 22 January 2007, the US Climate Action Partnership, a high profile group of market-leading businesses and environmental organizations, called for the federal government to quickly enact legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. On 20 February 2007, the Global Round Table on Climate Change, a coalition of American and international corporations, institutions, and non-governmental organizations, is expected to issue a similar statement calling for caps on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.

 


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