In 1992 Scientists issued an extremely prescient and powerful warning to humanity about how human impacts due the environment threatened the future of life on earth. The statement was signed by 1700 scientists, including the majority of Nobel laureates in the sciences.
The statement’s introduction read, “Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course. Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible damage on the environment and on critical resources. 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. Fundamental changes are urgent if we are to avoid the collision our present course will bring about.”
Now, a new warning was issued, a second notice. The article was signed by over 15,000 of the worlds scientists. According to the authors, “ As far as we know, this is the most scientists to ever co-sign and formally support a published journal article.”
The statement reads in part:
“The authors of the 1992 declaration feared that humanity was pushing the Earth’s ecosystems beyond their capacities to support the web of life. They described how we are fast approaching many of the limits of what the planet can tolerate without substantial and irreversible harm. The scientists pleaded that we stabilize the human population, describing how our large numbers—swelled by another 2 billion people since 1992, a 35 percent increase—exert stresses on the Earth that can overwhelm other efforts to realize a sustainable future (Crist et al. 2017). They implored that we cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and phase out fossil fuels, reduce deforestation, and reverse the trend of collapsing biodiversity.
On the 25th anniversary of their call, we look back at their warning and evaluate the human response by exploring available time-series data. 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.”
It then goes on to detail how, and to what degree, the degradation has continued and increased.
Please read these important statements. We must reflect on the scope of the problem, it’s source, and then act so we may preserve the remaining ecosystems and species of our planet, and even defend humanity’s existence itself, before it becomes too late to do so.