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Scientists 'Second Notice' to Humanity Warns of Environmental Doom

14 November 2017

A warning letter, written in 1992 and signed by 15,000 scientists, argues that human impact on nature seems to lead to "widespread human misery" and an "irreversibly mutilated planet".

Thousands of scientists from all around the world have come together to issue another "warning to humanity" about the unprecedented threats that we as a species, and more importantly our planet as a whole, are now facing. Signed at the time by a number of Nobel laureates in science, the 25-year-old open letter outlined that mankind is on a "collision course" with the natural word.

Monday's warning letter indicates that humanity has largely fallen short when it comes to remedying these issues. The letter chronicled environmental impressions and compared them to biblical plagues like stratospheric ozone exhaustion, air and water contamination, the disintegration of fisheries and diminution of soil productivity, deforestation, species loss and terrible global climate change engendered by the burning of fossil fuels. Scientists predict many current life forms could be annihilated or near extinction by the end of this century. As Newsweek noted, today ozone-depleting substances have decreased by 68 percent and, in November, the ozone hole is at its smallest since the year 1988 (though it is still substantial). The letter listed 13 specific ways in which humans can make their existence more sustainable and limit their harmful effects on the environment.

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Such activities could include establishing more terrestrial and marine reserves, strengthening enforcement of anti-poaching laws and restraints on wildlife trade, expanding family planning and educational programs for women, promoting a dietary shift toward plant-based foods and massively adopting renewable energy and other "green" technologies. "Scientists are in the business of analyzing data and looking at the long-term consequences".

The letter is being released as the UN Climate Change Conference is underway in Bonn, Germany, amid what organizers say is a renewed urgency due to extreme weather events like this year's hurricanes and wildfires.

But this one positive development isn't enough to curb the impending crisis, according to the scientists.

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More than 15,000 researchers from around the world have signed an update to a 1992 "doomsday" document, warning that "time is running out" in the battle to sustain the future health of the planet.

The scientists said that especially troubling was the "current trajectory of potentially catastrophic climate change". Much of the world does seem to be taking this environmental degradation threat seriously - and it looks that they will proceed to address these issues despite the Trump administration's absence.

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