Warning to human race from world scientists: cut consumption or face calamity
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A prophetic “Warning to Humanity” giving notice of perils facing the Earth has been issued by more than 15,000 scientists from around the world. The message, posted online, updates an original Warning from the Union of Concerned Scientists and around 1,700 signatories delivered in 1992. Today, the global scientific community’s view of the future is even more bleak. Apart from the hole in the ozone layer, which has now been stabilised, every one of the major threats identified in 1992 has worsened. Runaway consumption of precious resources by an exploding population remains the biggest danger facing humankind, say the scientists. They urge “scientists, media influencers and lay citizens” to put pressure on governments to reverse the trend. A host of environmental calamities are highlighted in the warning notice, including catastrophic climate change, deforestation, mass species extinction, ocean “dead zones”, and lack of access to fresh water. Writing in the online international journal BioScience, the scientists led by top US ecologist Professor William Ripple, from Oregon State University, said: “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.”
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