Twenty-five years ago, in November of 1992, some 1700 of the world's leading scientists, including the majority of Nobel laureates in the sciences, issued a bold, comprehensive and timely "warning to humanity." And, as you might guess, it was almost completely ignored.
The "warning" was written and spearheaded by the late Henry Kendall (1990 Nobel Prize winner in Physics), Chairman, Union of Concerned Scientists,
|Kendall Accepting Nobel Prize
Now, as a result of not heeding their warning, it leaves our world in a far worse situation twenty-five years later.
Last week, the UCS issued their "second chance" warning. You can read both warnings in their entirety in links below.
Here is a sampling (from the 1992 "warning) of the many insightful observations those scientists had regarding the grossly unsustainable human lifestyle. The first line tells the whole story.
World Scientists' Warning to Humanity (1992)
"Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course. Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible damage on the environment and on critical resources."
"If not checked, many of our current practices put at serious risk the future that we wish for human society and the plant and animal kingdoms, and may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know."
"Fundamental changes are urgent if we are to avoid the collision our present course will bring about."
"Heedless exploitation of depletable ground water supplies endangers food production and other essential human systems."
"Destructive pressure on the oceans is severe, particularly in the coastal regions which produce most of the world's food fish."
"Loss of soil productivity, which is causing extensive land abandonment, is a widespread by-product of current practices in agriculture and animal husbandry."
"Tropical rain forests, as well as tropical and temperate dry forests, are being destroyed rapidly. At present rates, some critical forest types will be gone in a few years, and most of the tropical rain forest will be gone before the end of the next century. With them will go large numbers of plant and animal species."
"The irreversible loss of species, which by 2100 may reach one-third of all species now living, is especially serious."
"The earth is finite. Its ability to absorb wastes and destructive effluent is finite. Its ability to provide food and energy is finite. Its ability to provide for growing numbers of people is finite. And we are fast approaching many of the earth's limits."
"Pressures resulting from unrestrained population growth put demands on the natural world that can overwhelm any efforts to achieve a sustainable future."
"No more than one or a few decades remain before the chance to avert the threats we now confront will be lost and the prospects for humanity immeasurably diminished."
"We the undersigned, senior members of the world's scientific community, hereby warn all humanity of what lies ahead. A great change in our stewardship of the earth and the life on it is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided and our global home on this planet is not to be irretrievably mutilated."
The "warning" went on to outline exactly what actions must be taken as it reached out for help to all scientists, business, industrial and religious leaders. That was in 1992 when our global population stood at 5.4 billion. Since then it has exploded almost 40% to more than 7.5 billion that we have today.
Links to each of the two complete "warning" documents are provided here.
Here's what I think about the "second chance" warning that came out last week:
We know from the 1992 warning that a simple letter of appeal is probably not going to work any better this time than it did the first time. It's time for a new idea and I will present mine in two days--one that was inspired by the Union of Concerned Scientists. ucsusa.org
Knowing that the world's leaders
failed to heed the first "warning" from the UCS that was issued 25 years ago, I must conclude that our only "chance" is to now somehow raise those "warnings" to the level of a horribly threatening global emergency.
Watch for BSB 106 on 8-2-17.
In it, I will explain an
idea that just might work--an idea that would leverage the knowledge and conviction of those thousands of scientists to create a genuine global emergency--unlike anything the world has ever seen. BSB 106 will feature three of the best known, wealthiest and most powerful people in the world.
Have Message, Will Travel.
Please contact me (by return email) if you'd like to discuss scheduling a presentation at a venue near you. I have given variations of this talk at mainstream universities, and, while it's alarming to some extent, the message seems to resonate with conscientious people of all ages.
My 7-27-17 BSB describing my talks
To view all 48 slides
in my latest presentation, click here. Other upcoming talks include Ithaca, NY, in September, Ontario (Canada) in October, Rochester, NY, in November, Fort Myers, Florida, in January and Honolulu in April.
J. Morris (Jim) Hicks
Promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth
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