15,000 scientists issue dire warning to humanity

Time is running out to save planet, say more than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries.

Ed Mason | Oct 30, 2019

If the world does not take immediate action to combat the growing problems caused by greenhouse gases, population growth, and dwindling resources, humanity and other living things on planet Earth will suffer.

This message by 15,364 scientists from 184 countries is an update to an original warning issued in 1992 by the Union of Concerned Scientists. Today's experts say the situation is far more dire now than it was 25 years ago, and that nearly all the problems identified then have only gotten worse.

The only area of improvement has been in reducing the use of chemicals damaging to the ozone layer, the scientists say. Otherwise the trends are alarming.

For example, human population has risen by 35 percent; the number of ocean "dead zones" has increased by 75 percent; carbon emissions continue to increase significantly; and the number of animal populations, including birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals, has decreased by nearly one-third.

"Humanity is now being given a second notice," writes U.S. ecologist Prof. William Ripple from Oregon State University, in the online journal BioScience, as reported by the Independent. "By failing to adequately limit population growth, reassess the role of an economy rooted in growth, reduce greenhouse gases, incentivize renewable energy, protect habitat, restore ecosystems, curb pollution, halt defaunation, and constrain invasive alien species, humanity is not taking the urgent steps needed to safeguard our imperiled biosphere."

Ripple cautioned people against dismissing the warning as a false alarm, saying the scientist signatories, drawing on a wealth of governmental and other data, see the path the world is treading as unsustainable.

"Soon it will be too late to shift away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out," warns the letter. "We must recognize, in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions, that Earth with all its life is our only home."

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