Thousands of scientists from around the world have issued another stark warning to humanity highlighting the ‘irreversible damage’ done to the planet.
Experts have detailed the shocking decline in forests, sea life and wildlife on Earth, and paint a sad picture of the future of the planet.
The latest message is an update of an original warning sent from the Union of Concerned Scientists, backed by 1,700 signatures a quarter of a century ago, says The Independent.
Experts are now saying the picture is a lot worse than it was back in 1992, and almost ‘all of the problems identified’ then have worsened.
The letter warns people if they ‘don’t act soon’, there be ‘catastrophic biodiversity loss and untold amounts of human misery’. That sounds pretty damn ominous to me.
Mankind is still facing the ‘existential threat of runaway consumption of limited resources by a rapidly growing population’, The Independent continues.
The letter also says ‘scientists, media influencers and lay citizens’ are not doing enough to fight against the problems.
Since the initial letter was written and published, one thing has actually improved.
The hole in the ‘ozone layer’ has actually started repairing and so the letter urges humanity to use this as an example of ‘what can happen when people act decisively’.
But it is just that.
Every single other threat has worsened, according to the letter, which says there is ‘not long left’ before it becomes too late for the changes to ever be reversed.
There are some causes for hope but the letter says humanity simply isn’t doing anywhere near enough to make the most of them.
Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out.
We must recognise, in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions, that Earth with all its life is our only home.
In this second warning notice, a host of disasters have been highlighted, which include catastrophic climate change, deforestation, mass species extinction, ocean ‘dead zones’, and lack of access to fresh water, writes The Independent.
US ecologist Professor William Ripple, from Oregon State University wrote about the ‘second notice; in the online international journal BioScience.
Humanity is now being given a second notice.
We are jeopardising our future by not reining in our intense but geographically and demographically uneven material consumption and by not perceiving continued rapid population growth as a primary driver behind many ecological and even societal threats.
By failing to adequately limit population growth, reassess the role of an economy rooted in growth, reduce greenhouse gases, incentivise 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 imperilled biosphere.
Now, the new notice, written as an ‘open-letter viewpoint article’, won the support of 15,364 scientists from 184 countries who agreed to offer their names as signatories.
Professor Ripple also added:
Those who signed this second warning aren’t just raising a false alarm. They are acknowledging the obvious signs that we are heading down an unsustainable path.
We are hoping that our paper will ignite a widespread public debate about the global environment and climate.
Scientists pointed out, in the past 25 years:
- The amount of fresh water available per head of population worldwide has reduced by 26 per cent.
- The number of ocean ‘dead zones’ – or places where little can live because of pollution and oxygen starvation – has increased by a massive 75 per cent.
- Almost 300 million acres of forest has been lost, mostly to make way for agricultural land.
- Global carbon emissions and average temperatures have shown continued, significant increases.
- The human population has risen by 35 per cent.
- And the number of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and fish in the world has fallen by 29 per cent.