In 1992, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and more than 1700 prominent scientists, including the majority of living Nobel laureates, sent out a letter titled “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity” to governmental leaders all over the world. The letter requested them to take immediate action to stop the environmental degradation that threatened global life support systems on our planet
The 25-year-old “Warning to Humanity” gets a bleak follow-up
Climate change, deforestation, species extinction, population growth, and the scarcity of clean water – almost all of the major threats identified in 1992 – have worsened in the last 25 years.
Thousands of scientists from all around the world have come together to issue another “warning to humanity.” This second notice has been signed by 15,364 scientists from 184 countries.
Drawing data from government agencies and individual researchers, the second notice points out how we have been faring on the warnings issued earlier:
- The amount of fresh water available per head of population worldwide has reduced by 26 percent.
- The number of ocean “dead zones” – places where little can live because of pollution and oxygen starvation – has increased by 75 percent.
- 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.
- The human population has risen by 35 percent.
- Collectively, the number of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and fish in the world has fallen by 29 percent.