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William J. Ripple, Christopher Wolf, Thomas M. Newsome, Mauro Galetti, Mohammed Alamgir, Eileen Crist, Mahmoud I. Mahmoud, William F. Laurance, 15,364 scientist signatories from 184 countries

BioScience, Volume 67, Issue 12, 1 December 2017, Pages 1026–1028

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Twenty-five years after the 1992 publication of “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity”, scientists have reviewed their initial warnings and explored responses to the messages provided in the first report. In their initial publication, “they implored that we cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and phase out fossil fuels, reduce deforestation, and reverse the trend of collapsing biodiversity” (p. 1026). Now, we are being given a second notice. We must decrease our material consumption and put rapid population growth at the forth front of environmental disaster. By neglecting rapid population growth; failing to reassess an economy with growth as its primary motive; reducing greenhouse gases; rewarding renewable energy sources; protecting our ecosystems; cutting pollution, and restraining invasive alien species, humanity is not taking the needed steps to protect endangered biodiversity. Given the dire situation, we must insist that governments take immediate action; it is our responsibility to future generations to curb these imminent threats. As the authors of the Second Notice conclude, “Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out. We must recognize, in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions, that Earth with all its life is our only home” (p. 1028).

The full article is available free of charge from Oxford University Press.