We Have Been Warned – Will We Respond in Time?

Stuart Scott | October 18, 2018 | Leave a Comment Download as PDF

a wave made of oil

We are now being warned on nearly a daily basis by an assortment of voices from institutions, organizations and individuals, that humanity is on a collision course with Nature. One of the starkest warnings, however, is the twice-issued World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity.  The first issuance was in 1992, the year of the UN sustainability conference in Rio, by the Union of Concerned Scientists. It was signed by over 1,700 scientists, including over half the living Nobel Prize recipients.

In late 2017, 25 years later, another group of scientists led by Dr. Bill Ripple, a Distinguished Professor of Ecology at Oregon State University, published a peer-reviewed article in BioScience entitled World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity – A Second Notice.  It might have more aptly been named Final Notice.’  The paper systematically outlined some of the major stressors on planetary ecosystems, predicting a grim future should humanity continue to flaunt these warnings much longer.

At publication over 15,000 world scientists and social scientists had signed the second Scientists Warning, and over 8,000 more have signed since. The paper holds a record for signatories, and relevant metrics make it one of the most influential papers of all time. Those in the sciences and social sciences – academics, professionals, and graduate students alike – may still add their names, but now all non-scientists, organizations, and concerned companies may do so as well, at ScientistsWarning.org.

The initiative seeks to…

  • Broaden the warning of the dangers of collapsing ecosystems under the scale and scope of human production, consumption and waste, as well as our socially reinforced and perpetuated behaviors, bringing the warnings to both aware and unaware populations;
  • Clarify the root cause of our collision with Nature as a universally accepted growth economic system, one that refuses to recognize planetary limits, and to move that system to recognize ecological safety as more important than financial wealth;
  • Form a global constituency for change, conceived of as a new ecological movement, going beyond the limited successes of the environmental movement over the past half-century; and
  • Create a comprehensive, interactive, user-driven resource for learning and action.

I urge you to add your Individual Endorsement to the ScientistsWarning.org initiative.  If you wish to help more, email us at contact@scientistswarning.org.  Please urge your families, friends, colleagues and associates to join the initiative as well via direct contact, email and social media.  Organizational Endorsements from both NGOs and enlightened business enterprises are also most welcome.  Our future hope lies in our action today.


Stuart Scott was an environmentalist stockbroker on Wall Street in the 1970s, an IT consultant for major New York City banks in the 1980s, a Software Engineer for IBM in the 1990s, and a university instructor of Mathematics, Statistics, and Critical Thinking. He left teaching in 2008 to serve as a full-time international activist and strategist on the climate and ecological problems humanity has created.  He may be contacted at stuart.h.scott@gmail.com.

The MAHB Blog is a venture of the Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere. Questions should be directed to joan@mahbonline.org


Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedIn
The views and opinions expressed through the MAHB Website are those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect an official position of the MAHB. The MAHB aims to share a range of perspectives and welcomes the discussions that they prompt.
  • GrowthBuster

    “Final Notice” is, unfortunately, very apt. Can you hear the sirens and see the flashing lights? This is it.

  • Arnold Byron

    Thank you, Mr. Scott for renewing the warning that the we (our leaders) should have heeded in the 1990s. This may sound weird, but the leaders that I am talking about are the college and university Presidents and Regents everywhere in the world.

    Why them? The problems faced by humanity are global. The solutions must be made on a global scale. Humanity has not put any agency or office in charge of directing the global effort. No suggested solutions will be brought to fruition until a boss of some kind is put in charge. Care must be taken to make sure that such a boss does not have any individual or wrongful agendas. Where can such a boss be found? To my mind there is only one place. Colleges and universities are found throughout the world. Colleges and universities are the repositories of knowledge and creativity. They are global.

    Colleges and universities are or can be, at least to some degree, independent of societal forces such as financial greed and political power. In fact, I think that if the Presidents and Regents of colleges and universities worldwide spoke with one voice the financial and political forces would begin to listen.

    I believe that humanity will not have a chance of bringing itself and the planet into a future of stability and happiness if the nations of the world do not create a global office (boss if you will) to order, direct and bring to fulfillment the needed solutions and if the Presidents and Regents of the colleges and universities worldwide do not step up and instigate the effort. I have written several articles to this MAHB blogsite under the title A Plan for the Nations. These articles go into more detail. They can be found at the following link, https://mahb.stanford.edu/?s=A+Plan+for+the+Nations .

  • Geoffrey Holland

    There are echoes of this warning everywhere, but they are not being reported on with any sense of urgency by our mass media, which has been largely captured by bankers, billionaires, and wealthy corporations. Until we moderate the power of the privileged few to use their money to shape public policy, we are screwed.