More than 15,000 researchers from around the world have signed an update to a 1992 ‘doomsday’ document, warning that “time is running out” in the battle to sustain the future health of the planet.
In 1992, the Union of Concerned Scientists released the “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity” notice. Signed at the time by a number of Nobel laureates in science, the 25-year-old open letter outlined that mankind is on a “collision course” with the natural word.
“If not checked, many of our current practices put at serious risk the future that we wish for human society and the plant and animal kingdoms, and may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know,” the statement read.
Two and a half decades on, the future of the planet appears even worse, according to the update.
Drafted by William J Ripple, a professor of ecology at Oregon State University, the second notice is being backed by 15,364 scientists from 184 countries.
The new warning, entitled “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice” and published in the Bioscience journal, says that humanity has failed to make sufficient progress in solving its environmental challenges.
“Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out. We must recognize, in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions, that Earth with all its life is our only home,” the update reads.
The damage inflicted on the Earth in the past 25 years, include the increase of so-called pollution “dead zones” in oceans and the destruction of 129 million hectares of forest.
The warning also states that the ten warmest years on record have come since 1998, while collectively the number of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals has dropped a dramatic 58 percent since 1970.
Among the bleakness, there’s one thing humanity appears to have done right, and that is the reduction of ozone-depleting emissions. This, according to the notice, is proof that “we can make a positive change.”