In 1992, more than 1,700 scientists, including most of the Nobel Prize winners, wrote an urgent warning to humanity. The message was simple: if we do not take drastic measures, human misery will prevail and our planet will be “irremediably mutilated”. 25 years later, things have not changed much.
Therefore, more than 15,000 scientists from 184 countries have signed (and continue to sign) a second notice , in which they state that humans are in the process of colliding with the natural world, and if immediate measures are not taken, we cannot avoid substantial and irreversible damage to Earth.
Climate change, deforestation, the loss of access to fresh water, the extinction of species and the growth of the human population only aggravate the situation. Human well-being will be seriously threatened if we do not remedy it, the authors explain in the article published in the journal BioScience.
In the study, led by the team of William Ripple, of Oregon State University (USA), scientists reveal that the only subject that has been successfully addressed is the ozone layer. The rest, in particular, the current trajectory of climate change, deforestation and agricultural production, particularly meat consumption, are of particular concern.
- The report highlights a 26% reduction in the amount of fresh
- water available per inhabitant.
- A reduction in the capture of wild fish
- A 75% increase in the number of dead zones in the ocean
- A loss of more than 121 million hectares of forest
- Continuous increases in global carbon emissions and average temperatures
- Increase of 35% of the human population
- A 29% reduction in the number of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and fish.
Regarding the latter, the article warns about the event of mass extinction that humanity has unleashed, the sixth in approximately 540 million years, which places the biodiversity of our planet at exceptional risk.
As an alarming example, in Australia, the loss of biodiversity is particularly evident. In 2017, Australia ranks second in the world in global biodiversity loss, just behind Indonesia; with habitat loss as the main threat to biodiversity (deforestation is disturbing).
Much of these environmental catastrophes are due to the increase in population on the planet. Since 1992, the human population has exploded, increasing by 35%, equivalent to another 2 billion people. According to current trends, by 2050 the human population could increase to more than 9,000 million people. If we do not stabilize the number of people, the stress to which we subject our environment will continue to worsen and we will end up condemning it.
“By not adequately limiting population growth, reevaluating the role of an economy rooted in growth, reducing greenhouse gases, encouraging renewable energy , protecting habitat, restoring ecosystems, curbing pollution, stopping defaunation ( reduction of large and medium vertebrates) and restrict the invasive alien species, humanity is not taking the urgent steps necessary to safeguard our biosphere in danger “, the authors explain.
But not all is lost.
Scientists point to the improvement of ozone as evidence that humanity can implement positive change when it is proposed.
“Soon it will be too late to change the direction of our failed trajectory”, the scientists stress.
A quarter of a century ago, humanity collectively ignored an urgent warning from the world’s leading scientists. Now, time is running out, and we cannot afford to continue ignoring scientists and their research. Will we listen to your advice? Remember that, after all, we do not have a plan (eta) B.