A total of 15,000 Scientists have signed the letter warning of environmental catastrophe
In 1992, 1700 scientist from the Union of Concerned Scientist signed a message that was a “warning to humanity”.
Now, the group has issued a new dire warning regarding the dangers to all of us that was signed by 15,000 scientists. The letter warns that “time is running out” in the battle to sustain the future health of the planet and that if the world does not act soon, catastrophic biodiversity and untold amounts of human misery will come upon Earth.
The only improvement that has been seen is that the hole on the ozone layer has improved since 1992. The letter points to this change as motivation that when mankind acts, we can enact change.
Environmental issues that are highlighted in the warning include catastrophic climate change, deforestation, mass species extinction, ocean “dead zones”, and lack of access to fresh water.
The authors drew on data from government agencies, non-profit organizations and individual researchers to set out their case that the environmental impacts were likely to inflict “substantial and irreversible harm” to the Earth.
The letter points out those significant issues have only become more widespread in the last 25 years.
The amount of fresh water available per head of population worldwide has reduced by 26%.
The number of ocean “dead zones” – places where little can live because of pollution and oxygen starvation – has increased by 75%.
Nearly 300 million acres of forest have been lost, mostly to make way for agricultural land.
Global carbon emissions and average temperatures have shown continued significant increases.
Human population has risen by 35%.
Collectively the number of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and fish in the world has fallen by 29%.
The letter does suggest that there is still hope in trying to prevent this potential doomsday. The letter suggests that humanity isn’t currently doing nearly enough to make the most of them and soon it will be too late to reverse its fate.
Progress had been made in some areas – such as cutting ozone-depleting chemicals, and increasing energy generated from renewable sources – but this was far outweighed by the damaging trends, said the scientists.