15K Scientists Sign Open Letter to Humanity: 'Time Is Running Out'

Tuesday, 14 November 2017 - 11:15AM
Tuesday, 14 November 2017 - 11:15AM
15K Scientists Sign Open Letter to Humanity: 'Time Is Running Out'
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Image credit: Pixabay
More than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries signed their names to an open letter warning humanity that we'll continue to incite the extinction of our species if we don't act to correct climate change immediately. 

"Since 1992, with the exception of stabilizing the stratospheric ozone layer, humanity has failed to make sufficient progress in generally solving these foreseen environmental challenges, and alarmingly, most of them are getting far worse," the scientists wrote in the letter.
"Especially troubling is the current trajectory of potentially catastrophic climate change due to rising GHGs (greenhouse gases) from burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and agricultural production—particularly from farming ruminants for meat consumption."

The group adds that humanity has "unleashed a mass extinction event, the sixth in roughly 540 million years, wherein many current life forms could be annihilated or at least committed to extinction by the end of this century."
Of course, it isn't all negative.

The group reminds that efforts to reduce ozone-depleting substances have shown efficacy—by cutting greenhouse gasses we've actually shrunk the size of the hole in the ozone layer to its smallest size in 30 years.

However, the dispatch adds to this that while we "have learned much since 1992, but the advancement of urgently needed changes in environmental policy, human behavior, and global inequities is still far from sufficient."

"Working together while respecting the diversity of people and opinions and the need for social justice around the world, we can make great progress for the sake of humanity and the planet on which we depend," the scientists suggest in the end of their letter.

The last time such a large group of scientists gathered to pen a letter like this was 25 years ago.

In 1992, more than 1,700 scientists wrote the original "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity," asking humankind to slow environmental destruction.

The group warned there would be repercussions if nothing was done about dead zones in the oceans, climate change and the devastation of biodiversity while human population continued to expand.

The original letter also pointed out that the consequences of humanity's abuse and degrading of the planet's ecosystem could result in irreparable harm to the biosphere, beseeching for the phasing out of fossil fuel use, reducing deforestation, cutting greenhouse gas emissions and working to protect the biosphere.

Thankfully, everyone signed the Paris Climate agreement...except the United States.
Science News