Letter from 1000 Scientists Raises Red Flags
A letter expressing a dire warning about the dangers to humanity has been written by over 1,500 scientists from around the world. The message updates an original warning sent from the Union of Concerned Scientists with 1,700 signatures 25 years ago. But, experts say the picture is far, far worse than it was in 1992, and that almost all of the problems identified then have simply been exacerbated.
(Transcript of Lawrence Gunther’s bi-weekly 12-minute segment on Live from Studio 5 broadcast over AMI TV and Audio across Canada)
Q. Welcome back Lawrence, what exactly do all these scientists believe could spell the end to life on earth as we know it?
A. It’s a problem of our own making caused by runaway consumption of our planet’s limited resources by a rapidly growing population, and none of us are doing enough to fight against it.
A. If the world doesn’t act soon, these scientists believe there will be catastrophic biodiversity loss and untold amounts of human misery.
Q. Haven’t we done anything right since they published their first letter in 1992?
A. According to these 1,500+ scientists, the only significant thing we have managed to fix is the hole in the ozone layer by our banning CF gases used in aerosol cans and air conditioners.
A. What we haven’t addressed includes catastrophic climate change, deforestation, mass species extinction, ocean dead zones, and the lack of access to fresh water.
A. In specific, we need to:
- The amount of fresh water available per head of population worldwide has reduced by 26%.
- The number of ocean “dead zones” – places where little can live because of pollution and oxygen starvation – has increased by 75%.
- Nearly 300 million acres of forest have been lost, mostly to make way for agricultural land.
- Global carbon emissions and average temperatures have shown continued significant increases.
- Human population has risen by 35%.
- Collectively the number of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and fish in the world has fallen by 29%.
Q. What do the scientists believe we need to do to prevent the destruction of the world as we know it?
A. We must recognize in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions that Earth with all its life is our only home.”
A. We need to limit population growth, move away from an economic model dependent on growth, reduce greenhouse gases, incentive renewable energy, protect habitat, restore ecosystems, curb pollution, halt defoliation, and constrain invasive species.
Q. The list of things we need to do seems quite daunting, where do you think we should start?
A. Those of us in the world that are causing most of the problems, either directly or indirectly, have lost touch with nature. We live lives insulated from the impacts of our actions and inaction.
A. Who among us has walked a clear-cut, smelled an oil spill, and swam in a dead lake, grown sick from eating contaminated fish, or lost a home to a super storm or rising ocean levels?
A. And then there are those rapidly expanding populations living in poverty in 3rd-world countries that depend on nature to survive in ways that are simply unsustainable. Take Haiti for example, a once lush tropical island, now a desert stripped bare of trees.
A. We need to re-learn how to live with nature. To witness directly the results of our sustainable and unsustainable actions. To reconnect with nature in ways that reflects our evolution and personal development that’s hard-wired within each of us over tens-of-thousands of years. Only then will we take responsibility for our lifestyle choices.