Doomsday warning to humanity signed by 15000 scientists

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"Working together while respecting the diversity of people and opinions and the need for social justice around the world, we can make great progress for the sake of humanity and the planet on which we depend", the scientists suggest in the end of their letter.

Particle physicist and Union of Concerned Scientists co-founder Henry Kendall wrote that if the present day applications are not curbed, they can pose a significant risk for the future of humanity as well as for plants and animal kingdoms and will change the living world that it will be impossible to support life in the way that we know.

To mark the letter's 25th anniversary, researchers have issued a bracing follow-up.

"Humanity has failed to make sufficient progress in generally solving these foreseen environmental challenges, and alarmingly, majority are getting far worse", they write.

The new warning is signed by nearly 10 times the number of scientists who put their signatures on the last one.

In the journal BioScience, the scientists, led by United States ecologist Professor William Ripple, said: "Humanity is now being given a second notice. we are jeopardising our future by not reining in our intense but geographically and demographically uneven material consumption and by not perceiving continued rapid population growth as a primary driver behind many ecological and even societal threats". Those chemicals were once used in refrigerators, air conditioners, and elsewhere, but we discovered they could trigger reactions in the atmosphere that broke down the ozone.

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. As WaPo notes, since the original piece, global average temperatures have continued to rise-half a degree Celsius since 1992, which has a profound impact on the ecosystem.

But it's far from the only problem people face.

The lone bright spot exists way up in the stratosphere, where the hole in the planet's protective ozone layer has shrunk to its smallest size since 1988.

Over this time, human numbers have increased by 2 billion, or 35 percent. The authors say that this "shows that positive changes can be made".

The authors offer 13 suggestions for reining in our impact on the planet, including establishing nature reserves, reducing food waste, developing green technologies and establishing economic incentives to shift patterns of consumption.

"In this paper we look back on these trends and evaluate the subsequent human response by exploring the available data", Newsome said. But apparently the world didn't get that message 25 years ago, and the experts who penned the new warning called it "a second notice", like what someone would receive when they don't pay their bills. "We are hoping that our paper will ignite a wide-spread public debate about the global environment and climate".

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