World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice

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SHAFAQNA – On November 1992, 1,700 scientists, including several Nobel laureates, issued a warning to humanity: human impacts seriously harm the planet

In 1992, the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit American organization, launched the first “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity” It was signed by more than 1,700 researchers and argued that the impact of our societies on the natural world could lead to “great human misery”

This time around a second and dire “Warning to Humanity” has been issued, supported by more than 15000 scientists from around the world. This time the warning is more urgent and calls upon nations and governments to do more and faster to achieve true sustainability.

Among the suggestions for effective sustainability, the scientist’s list includes:

  •  prioritizing the enactment of connected well-funded and well-managed reserves for a
    significant proportion of the world’s terrestrial, marine, freshwater, and aerial habitats;
  •  maintaining nature’s ecosystem services by halting the conversion of forests, grasslands,
    and other native habitats;
  •  restoring native plant communities at large scales, particularly forest landscapes;
  •  rewilding regions with native species, especially apex predators, to restore ecological
    processes and dynamics;
  •  developing and adopting adequate policy instruments to remedy defaunation, the
    poaching crisis, and the exploitation and trade of threatened species;
  •  reducing food waste through education and better infrastructure;
  •  promoting dietary shifts towards mostly plant-based foods;
  •  further reducing fertility rates by ensuring that women and men have access to education
    and voluntary family-planning services, especially where such resources are still lacking;
  •  increasing outdoor nature education for children as well as the overall engagement of
    society in the appreciation of nature;
  •  divesting of monetary investments and purchases to encourage positive environmental
    change;
  •  devising and promoting new green technologies and massively adopting renewable
    energy sources, while phasing out subsidies to energy production through fossil fuels;
  •  revising our economy to reduce wealth inequality and ensure that prices, taxation and
    incentive systems take into account the real costs which consumption patterns impose on
    our environment; and
  •  estimating a scientifically defensible, sustainable human population size for the long
    term while rallying nations and leaders to support that vital goal.

“Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out,” the letter warns. “We must recognize, in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions, that Earth with all its life is our only home.”

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