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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com.