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Climate Change: 15000 scientists unite to give a second warning

Climate Change: 15000 scientists unite to give a second warning

A warning letter, written in 1992 and signed by 15,000 scientists, argues that human impact on nature seems to lead to "widespread human misery" and an "irreversibly mutilated planet".

The new warning was published Monday in the worldwide journal BioScience, and marks an update to the "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity" issued by almost 1,700 leading scientists 25 years ago. The 1992 letter also listed multiple actions that needed to be taken to "restore and protect the integrity of the earth's systems".

Climate change, deforestation, loss of access to fresh water, species extinctions and uncontrolled human population growth are all threatening mankind's and the Earth's future. But, by and large, humanity has done a awful job of making progress. They also warned of a potentially catastrophic loss of species due to extinction by the end of the century.

Progress in some areas - such as a reduction in ozone-depleting chemicals and an increase in energy generated from renewable sources - shows that positive changes can be made, the authors wrote. "Scientists are in the business of analysing data and looking at the long-term consequences".

Such activities could include establishing more terrestrial and marine reserves, strengthening enforcement of anti-poaching laws and restraints on wildlife trade, expanding family planning and educational programs for women, promoting a dietary shift toward plant-based foods and massively adopting renewable energy and other "green" technologies.

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The letter is being released as the UN Climate Change Conference is underway in Bonn, Germany, amid what organizers say is a renewed urgency due to extreme weather events like this year's hurricanes and wildfires. Patricia Espinosa, one of the conference's hosts, noted that one of the main purposes of the conference is for world leaders to come together to take the next step in implementing the Paris climate accord and to accelerate "the transformation to sustainable, resilient and climate-safe development".

In the journal BioScience, the scientists, led by United States ecologist Professor William Ripple, 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".

However, the current USA stance on climate change and environmental issues seems to lie counter to many of these scientists' recommendations.

Ripple and his colleagues have formed a new independent organisation, the Alliance of World Scientists, to be a collective voice on environmental sustainability and human well-being.


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