Back in 1992, a group of scientists signed a paper warning people about the consequences that were coming due to pollution and threats to the Earth. Today, that same group of more than 15000 scientists remembered what they told us once.
In a cautionary message, 15,364 scientists from 184 countries signed the letter published this Monday by the journal BioScience. They called it “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: Second Notice,” and asked humanity to fight against terrible actions that are leading our planet — thus, us — to an “irreversible” damage.
To make it clear: the group of scientists is demanding us to stop the greenhouse gas emissions, progressively eliminate fossil fuels, end with deforestation, and any other forms to reverse the biodiversity’s collapse.
This message recalls what the Union of Concerned Scientists — formed by that time with 1700 scientist only — once warned us. It said that many problems pointed out back in 1992 have not been disestablished at all. In fact, some of them have gotten worse.
One thing that they acknowledged as positive was the size of the hole in the ozone layer. Although there’s still a lot of work to do, the group of scientists said that we should use this success as an example to believe we can do great things if we propose them.
“The rapid global decline in ozone-depleting substances shows that we can make positive change when we act decisively,” they wrote. “We have also made advancements in reducing extreme poverty and hungry.”
Also, they also pointed other successes happening in different areas of the Earth — such as a decline in fertility rates and deforestation, and a rapid increase in the renewable-energy sector.
More people and less resources
The lead author and US ecologist, Professor William Ripple, wrote on BioScience that the humanity is now “being given a second notice,” and being warned about the “material consumption” and the “rapid population growth.” These two factors can lead us to “many ecological and even societal threats.”
While the number of limited resources is decreasing, the number of worldwide population is increasing. The paper informed that “scientists, media influencers, and lay citizens” aren’t doing what they should do to make people care about saving our planet.
If we don’t act soon and start caring more about the Earth, we will face catastrophic biodiversity loss and untold amounts of human misery — the massive group of scientists adverted.
“Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out,” the authors wrote on the study. “We must recognize, in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions, that Earth with all its life is our only home.”
Governments were called out
The authors want to make sure they are addressing to every single part of the population: since any average individuals, to government agencies and non-profit organizations.
According to Ripple, any scientist who signed in this second warning is everything but raising a “false alarm.” In fact, they are doing the opposite totally: acknowledging the obvious signs that “we are heading down an unsustainable path.”
Also, Ripple said that he hopes this second warning can ignite a “widespread public debate” about the global environment and climate.