The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
20,000 Scientists Have Now Signed 'Warning to Humanity'
A chilling research paper warning about the fate of humanity has received 4,500 additional signatures and endorsements from scientists since it was first released last year.
The paper—"World Scientists' Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice"—was published in November 2017 in the journal Bioscience and quickly received the largest-ever formal support by scientists for a journal article with roughly 15,000 signatories from 184 countries.
Today, the article has collected 20,000 expert endorsements and/or co-signatories, and more are encouraged to add their names.
The "Warning" became one of the most widely discussed research papers in the world. It currently ranks 6th out of 9 million papers on the Altmetric scale, which tracks attention to research. It has also inspired pleas from political leaders from Israel to Canada.
"Our scientists' warning to humanity has clearly struck a chord with both the global scientific community and the public," said lead author ecology professor William Ripple at Oregon State University in a statement.
The 2017 paper is actually an update to the original version published 25 years ago by the Union of Concerned Scientists. It was signed by 1,700 scientists then, including the majority of living Nobel laureates in the sciences.
The first notice started with this statement: "Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course." It described trends such as the growing hole in the ozone layer, pollution and depletion of freshwater sources, overfishing, deforestation, plummeting wildlife populations, as well as unsustainable rises in greenhouse gas emissions, global temperatures and human population levels.
Unfortunately, the authors of the updated paper said that humanity failed to progress on most of the measures and ominously warned, "time is running out."
The authors concluded that urgent measures are necessary to avoid disaster. They called upon everyday citizens to urge their leaders to "take immediate action as a moral imperative to current and future generations of human and other life."
This week, three letters in comment and a response companion piece by the "Warning" authors was published in BioScience.
The response piece, "Role of Scientists' Warning in shifting policy from growth to conservation economy," includes two key areas for action in policy and science, from introducing a Nobel Prize in Economics for incorporating the limits of the biosphere to introducing a global price on carbon.
Watch below for an interview about the "Warning" paper with co-author Thomas Newsome of the University of Sydney's School of Life and Environmental Sciences:
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Richard Connor
Scientists have recorded Antarctica's first documented heat wave, warning that animal and plant life on the isolated continent could be drastically affected by climate change.
A case that has bounced around the lower courts for 13 years was finally settled yesterday when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision, finding oil giant Citgo liable for a clean up of a 2004 oil spill in the Delaware River, according to Reuters.
The evidence continues to build that breathing dirty air is bad for your brain.
By Paul Brown
The amount of energy generated by tides and waves in the last decade has increased tenfold. Now governments around the world are planning to scale up these ventures to tap into the oceans' vast store of blue energy.
When the novel coronavirus started to sweep across the country, the National Park Service started to waive entrance fees. The idea was that as we started to practice social distancing, Americans should have unfettered access to the outdoors. Then the parking lots and the visitor centers started to fill up, worrying park employees.