A group of 200 artists, actors, musicians and scientists have signed an open letter calling for the world’s politicians to act “firmly and immediately” on climate change in order to avoid a “global cataclysm”. The letter was authored by actress Juliette Binoche and astrophycist Aurélien Barrau.
“It is time to get serious,” the letter’s signatories declared, according to a France24 translation. “The sixth mass extinction is taking place at unprecedented speed. But it is not too late to avert the worst.”
Published Monday in the French daily Le Monde, the letter was signed by actors and musicians like Tim Robbins, Ethan Hawke, Juliette Binoche, Alain Delon, Bradley Cooper, Patti Smith, Jane Birkin, Willem Defoe, Jude Law, Ralph Fiennes and Marion Cotillard, and also by renowned scientists like astrophysicist Aurélien Barrau, climatologist Jean Jouzel, theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli, and mathematician Mikhaïl Gromov.
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The letter warns “collapse is underway.”
“At the current rate, in a few decades, there will be almost nothing left,” the letter reads. “Humans and most living species are in a critical situation.”
However, it’s “not too late to avoid the worst,” the authors wrote.
“We therefore consider that any political action which would not make the fight against this cataclysm its concrete priority… would no longer be credible,” the letter reads. “We consider that a government that does not rescue what can still be its primary and claimed objective cannot be taken seriously. We propose the choice of politics—far from lobbies—and potentially unpopular measures that will result.”
The letter was published just days after Nicolas Hulot, France’s former environment minister, announced his resignation on live radio, citing disappointment with Emmanuel Macron’s progress on environmental issues as the main reason. He said he hopes his stepping down will be a wake-up call to others.
“I hope that my act is not an act of resignation but one of mobilization,” Hulot said.
The letter also comes in the wake of a scientific paper issued to the United Nations by a team of biophysicists with the BIOS Research Unit in Finland. They argued that modern capitalism needs to be fundamentally restructured if the global society is going to make any progress in curbing climate change.
“Market-based action will not suffice—even with a high carbon price,” the team wrote. “There must be a comprehensive vision and closely coordinated plans. Otherwise, a rapid system-level transformation toward global sustainability goals is inconceivable.”