Over 15,000 scientists from 184 countries, spearheaded by Oregon State University ecologist William Ripple, have published Monday in the journal BioScience a warning notice to humanity, explaining that human activities are doing serious, irreversible damage on the planet that, if left unchecked, would eventually make it uninhabitable.
This is a second letter, in fact. The first, signed by 1,700 scientists, was issued in 1992. “Especially troubling is the current trajectory of potentially catastrophic climate change due to rising GHGs from burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and agricultural production—particularly from farming ruminants for meat consumption,” the actual letter says. It remembers that “humanity has failed to make sufficient progress in generally solving these foreseen environmental challenges, and alarmingly, most of them are getting far worse.”
The authors offer 13 suggestions for reining in our impact on the planet, including establishing nature reserves, reducing food waste, developing green technologies and establishing economic incentives to shift patterns of consumption. In the content of the letter, to limit population growth and rein in our consumption as a species is considered also a priority. “To prevent widespread misery and catastrophic biodiversity loss, humanity must practice a more environmentally sustainable alternative to business as usual,” the scientists say. Ripple and his colleagues also have formed a new organization, the Alliance of World Scientists, aimed at providing a science-based perspective on issues affecting the well-being of people and the planet.