Warning to Humanity: 15000 scientists say damage irreversible

Postado Novembro 14, 2017

"If not checked", wrote the scientists, led by particle physicist and Union of Concerned Scientists co-founder Henry Kendall, "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 authors drew on data from government agencies, non-profit organisations and individual researchers to set out their case that environmental impacts were likely to inflict "substantial and irreversible harm" to the Earth.

Their warning comes as the UN Climate Change Conference takes place in Bonn, Germany - the first major environmental meeting since US President Donald Trump said in June the US will pull out of the Paris accord, which aims to limit global warming to 1.5C.

"Humanity is now being given a second notice, as illustrated by these alarming trends", said the letter.

"We are jeopardizing 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", the authors wrote.

In their original 1992 warning scientists, including most of the world's Nobel Laureates, warned human impacts on the natural world were likely to lead to "vast human misery".

The new warning was published Monday in the global journal BioScience, and marks an update to the "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity" issued by almost 1,700 leading scientists 25 years ago.

Prof Ripple said: "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.

The goal of the paper, said Ripple, is to "ignite a wide-spread public debate about the global environment and climate".

They said the reduction in ozone-depleting chemicals and an increase in energy generated from renewable sources were a positive step. Recently, further fuel was added to this conversation, when the Alliance of World Scientists announced a global warning to the world.

The amount of fresh water available per head of population worldwide has reduced by 26%.

There has also been a loss of 300 million acres of forestland, much of it converted for agricultural uses and a collective 29 per cent reduction in the numbers of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and fish. The Earth's human population has swelled by another 2 billion people since 1992, an increase of 35%.

'This prescription was well articulated by the world's leading scientists 25 years ago, but in most respects, we have not heeded their warning.

"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".

"Humanity has failed to make sufficient progress in generally solving these foreseen environmental challenges, and alarmingly, majority are getting far worse", they write.