More than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries signed a letter on Monday, Nov. 13, that warns people about the environmental threat that Earth faces. The signees include PhD candidates, researchers, and professors from Massachusetts, Harvard, and Boston universities.
Warning To Humanity
The letter is a follow-up that commemorates the 25th anniversary of a letter written in 1992 by the Union of Concerned Scientists, which had issued a dire warning to humanity. The contents of the first letter mentioned how mankind pushed the planet’s ecosystems to its brink and was on the path to ruining Earth.
It also listed the adverse environmental effects that Earth was facing, including species loss, deforestation, loss of soil productivity, disintegration of fisheries, water and air pollution, stratospheric ozone depletion, and disastrous global climate change due to the fossil fuel burning.
“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 scientists wrote, led by Henry Kendall, a particle physicist and union cofounder.
Now researchers have issued the follow-up letter, spearheaded by ecologist William Ripple of Oregon State University, in a communique published in the journal BioScience on Nov. 13.
The new letter states that mankind has failed to make ample progress in finding solutions to the foreseen environmental challenges, and a majority of them are going from bad to worse. The authors have also mentioned that soon it will be too late to shift course from mankind’s failing trajectory.
The Suggested Course Of Action
The authors of the letter have listed detailed pointers about what humanity must do to save the planet and named five inextricably related areas that have to be addressed at the same time.
The must-do actions include bringing environmentally damaging activities under control, managing resources critical to human welfare more effectively, stabilizing population, reducing and eventually eliminating poverty, and ensuring sexual equality that guarantees women control over their own reproductive decisions.
The authors also said that it is imperative that developed nations must act now because they are the largest polluters of the planet today. First-world countries must especially put the focus on cutting back overconsumption if they want humanity to reduce the pressure on resources and global environment, as no country can escape from adverse impacts when biological systems are damaged.
The letter further pointed out that the success of this global endeavor depends on the reduction of violence and war since it consumes more than $1 trillion worth of resources, which could be better used in saving the planet from the environmental threat.