Humanity is in danger. Yes, more than 15,000 scientists have signed a letter on Monday issuing warning about threats to humanity due to imbalance in earth’s environment. The letter is titled as “Warning to Humanity” and it indicates if we do not take immediate necessary steps to save our planet then we will face huge consequences.
A similar type of warning was issued by around 1700 scientists in the year 1992 citing the impact of human interventions on our Earth and its environment. At that time they felt that humans had pushed Earth’s ecosystem to their threshold limit and were on the verge of ruining and devastating the planet. And, the current notice of Warning to Humanity’ is the updated version of the warning notice that was signed 25 years ago. From those more than 15,000 scientists who signed the letter, around 70 of them were professors, researchers or Ph.D. candidates at Massachusetts.
William Ripple of Oregon State University’s College Of Forestry started this campaign. He said that when he had his eyes on the 1992 warning last February, he got to know that this year marks the 25th anniversary of the warning letter. So, he decided to compare the present state of earth’s environment with the 1992 state when the warning was signed for the first time. He, along with his graduate student Christopher Wolf, collected global data for different variables to show trends over. Both found out that the current stage of Earth’s environment is completely alarming and it is far far worse than it was 1992 and almost all the problems that were listed then have multiplied with higher intensity.
Ripple found a sharp decline in freshwater availability, unsustainable marine fisheries, ocean dead zones, catastrophic global climate change, loss of forests and biodiversity, population growth, depletion of natural resources and many more. But one thing to cheer about was the decline in ozone depletion during these years. Ripple said that the trends are alarming, and they speak for themselves but the squeezing of ozone hole indicated that we can save our Earth if people of earth become alert and change their attitude towards our planet.
The scientists, led by particle physicist and Union of Concerned Scientists co-founder Henry Kendall, noted that if not checked, many of our current irresponsible practices put at risk the future that we wish for human society and plant and animal kingdoms, and might so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know.
Ripple’s article was published in the Journal Bioscience, and then he decided to collect signatures from scientists and mimic the 1992 event. He told CBC News that he had never tried that before and in July when he sent the article to 40 of his colleagues, he got signs of 600 scientists the next day. And within two months more than 15000 scientists signed the letter. The second letter on ‘warning to humanity’ is a great step taken by Ripple and is supported by many renowned scientists. They know that our Earth is moving towards a much worse phase and that to be on an unsustainable path. So, by signing the letter they wanted to make people aware that if we do nothing now, then nothing will remain for our future.