Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice

‘World Scientists’ (some scientists in the world) have issued a follow-up ‘warning to humanity twenty five years after the first warning was made.

Medium:  “This will lead to war over resources”

On 24 November, the Emergency Plan seminar was held in Stockholm, Sweden. The aim of the organisers — WeDontHaveTime, the Club of Rome and Global Utmaning, — was to present concrete ideas on how to rapidly reduce global emissions.

why the urgency? Why the desperate need for all these solutions?

The speaker who most clearly answered that question was Stuart Scott, executive director for ScientistsWarning.org and board member of the WeDontHaveTime foundation.

He started off by quoting a document written by the Union of Concerned Scientists in 1992.

“Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course. Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible damage on the environment. /…/ 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.”

“My question is: Did we change?” Stuart Scott rhetorically asked the audience at the seminar. “Unfortunately, not much.”

So 25 years after the first warning was formulated, scientists have written a new one.

World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice, was signed by 15,364 scientists from 184 countries upon release. Another 8,000 have signed it since then.

The updated warning deals with ecological stressors: biodiversity loss, food systems, freshwater scarcity, marine life depletion, ocean pollution, forest destruction, air toxification, soil degradation, population and climate change.

“Many of these stressors interact, and they multiply one another”, says Stuart Scott.

But despite all the scientific evidence of how our lifestyle is destroying the planet, carbon emissions reached an all-time-high in 2018.

But there is still hope. If we choose to act. And if we do it now.

“I say: get angry. Get very angry. But not just angry. Do something. Take action. The time has come for civil disobedience”, he says. “The bottom line is we must all become active immediately to avert a catastrophe for us, our children and all of life on Earth.”

I don’t know what getting angry will achieve. I don’t know how many people will get angry about something that may play out over the next fifty years.

A problem with selling urgent climate change action is that people are used to experiencing weather changes all the time, especially those of us living in latitudes where significant seasonal changes are normal, and in southern New Zealand, where significant changes can occur on the same day. Small changes in overall temperatures and slight increases in storm intensity and adverse weather are difficult to perceive. The southerly blasting right now, or the wave of NW heat, is what we notice the most (actually yesterday and today have been very pleasant

I think there will be attempts in New Zealand this year to appear angry and to propose drastic action. there may even be civil disobedience.

But how this will impact on most people – whether they care or not let alone do anything – will have to be seen, if it happens at all.

I don’t want anger, I don’t want civil disobedience.

I want civil debate. And I want good arguments for actions.

And most of all I want a sensible, feasible plan from the Government, who should be leading the way on this.

Humans should do much better at looking after our planet and mitigating and minimising risks from our impacts.

But I haven’t seen anything yet that looks anything like being a convincing way to deal with things related to climate change and environmental issues.

Warning to climate change activists – you need to get your words and actions right focussed on what will bring people on board a campaign for significant change, and not abuse and shame and piss off people that need to be convinced.

Some scientists may be convinced that WeDon’tHaveTime, but they have to do a much better job at convincing most of ‘we’ that we have to make time to change the way we live.

78 Comments

  1. kluelis

     /  January 2, 2019

    As nike say’s “just do it”

  2. Treuddyn Ted

     /  January 2, 2019

    “And most of all I want a sensible, feasible plan from the Government, who should be leading the way on this.”
    Sensible?
    Feasible?
    From this accidental worst Government lineup ever that in just one year has broken election promises left, right and centre from honesty to housing to immigration to poverty to road toll to strikes to taxes?
    You must be joking.

    • Duker

       /  January 2, 2019

      Does it keep you up at night ? – Good

    • kluelis

       /  January 2, 2019

      @Treuddyn Ted / January 2, 2019
      “And most of all I want a sensible, feasible plan from the Government, who should be leading the way on this.”
      Sensible?
      Feasible?
      From this accidental worst Government lineup ever that in just one year has broken election promises left, right and centre from honesty to housing to immigration to poverty to road toll to strikes to taxes?
      You must be joking”.
      C’mon Ted. John keys Gov’t did some good stuff in their 9 years.
      Credit where credit’s due.
      Lets have some sane debate please.

  3. Griff.

     /  January 2, 2019

    I don’t want anger, I don’t want civil disobedience.

    I want civil debate. And I want good arguments for actions.

    Ya cant have civil debate with halfwits that dribble illogical nonsense.
    Or with those that have no idea about what they talk about.

    Some scientists may be convinced that WeDon’tHaveTime

    The IPCC reports represent the largest scientific inquiry ever undertaken by man.
    That is not “some scientists” the conclusions are endorsed by the worlds scientific community and all but one of the worlds governments..
    The conclusion of the IPCC is we need to reduce net CO2 emissions to zero by 2030 and than start removing CO2 from the atmosphere with an as yet unknown technology.
    At this time we have failed to impact the keeling curve In any way .

    The time for “civil debate” is long gone .
    Get out of the way or get run over .

    • Duker

       /  January 2, 2019

      IPCC has a range of scenarios, all with moderate probability We may not even get into the lowest scenario of temperature rise.

      • Pink David

         /  January 2, 2019

        “IPCC has a range of scenarios, all with moderate probability”

        Exactly. Everyone likes the headlines claiming the end of the world is nigh, yet many of these scenarios are a world away from the extreme claims. We are almost certainly on the A1T track, and that mostly, technology will move fast enough for climate change to not be much of an issue. Of course, that means climate change isn’t much use for those who’s desire is to drive a global change in society, so it is ignored.

    • kluelis

       /  January 2, 2019

      @Duker. “The time for “civil debate” is long gone .
      Get out of the way or get run over “.
      Look it’s not those boy racers in Christchurch at all.
      No it’s the squadrons of mobility scooters hogging the pavements
      driven by frenzied supanuints racing to get the specials at countdown 🙂
      They are the reel danger to the civilised world
      Those flags really kill me

    • yet unknown technology…. you mean plants? The things that remove CO2 form the air every day and have done for billions of years?

  4. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  January 2, 2019

    The stressors on natural systems on our planet will continue as the human population increases.
    Either humans start limiting their population size (as has happened in many 1st World Countries) or some natural factors will bring the population down (famine, pandemics).
    Failure to address population control is the big failing of most Environmental/Green movements.

    • Blazer

       /  January 2, 2019

      as China until recently had a one child policy and has the biggest population on the planet…have they already done their…bit?

    • Gerrit

       /  January 2, 2019

      What Maggy said x100.

      Over population is the problem.

      Add to that the population living in third world conditions want to uplift their living to first world conditions. Takes carbon emissions and environmental damage to achieve. Volume wise more people live in third world conditions than those who enjoy first world living standards.

      There will be a correction, Couple dozen retaliatory nuclear bombs on China would help after China sinks USA aircraft carriers. South East Asia is about to get very hot.

      “Rear Admiral Lou Yuan has told an audience in Shenzhen that the ongoing disputes over the ownership of the East and South China Seas could be resolved by sinking two US super carriers.”

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12184587

      Problem is that each nuclear bomb would unleash a gigantic tonnage of CO2 into the atmosphere.

      “The smallest possible regional nuclear war would unleash around 700 million tons of carbon dioxide—about as much as a country like England emits every year. ”

      https://www.treehugger.com/clean-technology/how-much-co2-would-a-nuclear-war-emit.html

      So why bother with climate control when the world as we know it today is going to hell in a handcart anyway?

      • kluelis

         /  January 2, 2019

        @Gerrit. “So why bother with climate control when the world as we know it today is going to hell in a handcart anyway?” Why bother with the hand cart/ If we gonna go lets go in a gas guzzling 1958 Chrysler Imperial ?

        • Gerrit

           /  January 2, 2019

          Nah, 67 notch back Shelby Mustang with a 427. Ice white paint job with ford blue racing stripes. Halibrand mag wheels and massively wide firehawk tires.

      • PartisanZ

         /  January 2, 2019

        @Gerrit – ” … the population living in third world conditions want to uplift their living to first world conditions. Takes carbon emissions and environmental damage to achieve.”

        If environmental damage and carbon emissions are harmful, it follows that the First World living conditions dependent upon them are harmful or ‘bad’ too … and that’s where change should occur …

        Although it’s not going to happen, the regional nuclear war you seem to gleefully anticipate will have little effect on global population … and probably won’t even have the unintended consequence of ‘condensing’ millions or billions of people into ‘Second World’ or ‘Emerging Economy’ living conditions … where we probably all belong …

      • NOEL

         /  January 2, 2019

        The Chinese navy guy is an academic not serving. Probably why he hasn’t realised that the US only patrols with one carrier in the South China Sea. So much for his 2 carrier theory.

    • Pink David

       /  January 2, 2019

      “Failure to address population control is the big failing of most Environmental/Green movements.”

      We know how to address population. Once people get rich, they stop having children.

      • Gezza

         /  January 2, 2019

        But then they have to turn to importing other people’s children to pay for keeping them in their retirement.

        • Duker

           /  January 2, 2019

          What do you mean . Todays rich have a fraction of the servants of even 75 yrs ago, and often its only a part time cleaner they use uber eats

      • PartisanZ

         /  January 2, 2019

        @Pink David – “We know how to address population. Once people get rich, they stop having children.”

        Pity we’ve constructed an economic system where NOT everyone can get rich, isn’t it?

        Bit of a failure to address population that is.

        • Pink David

           /  January 2, 2019

          “Pity we’ve constructed an economic system where NOT everyone can get rich, isn’t it?”

          That is demonstrably not true. People are getting richer faster than at any time before in human history, and population growth will top out at about 9 bn as a result.

        • Pink David

           /  January 2, 2019

          Just as an example, Uber eats is a rather wonderful example of just how rich we have become..

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  January 2, 2019

            It’s impossible for everyone to be rich; if the average income was $10,000,000, people on $3,000,000 would be considered to be poor.

          • Gezza

             /  January 2, 2019

            How rich are the Uber drivers?

          • PartisanZ

             /  January 2, 2019

            What percentage of the world’s population has access to UberEATS I wonder?

            Servile contract ‘deliverers’ …

            Is it “a rather wonderful example of just how rich we have become”?

            Or is it an example of a kind of Inverse Poverty … ‘Take Out’ poverty … ‘Fast Food’ poverty …. no shopping in person for nutritious raw ingredients, no shared cooking, no nightly meal ritual … ? An example of Rich=Poor …?

            Are people getting richer faster than the population of poor people is growing?

            • MaureenW

               /  January 2, 2019

              The have My Food Bag too – fresh ingredients to cook at home.
              Mothers and Fathers both working to survive in Western society – maybe that’s the problem that needs to be solved. Pay people to care for our children, pay people to deliver food, etc, etc. It’s a form of shit-hole existence just to survive in western society.

            • PartisanZ

               /  January 2, 2019

              @MaureenW – “Mothers and Fathers both working to survive in Western society – maybe that’s the problem that needs to be solved.”

              Ain’t no “maybe” about it Maureen …

  5. Pink David

     /  January 2, 2019

    The Club of Rome have been wrong since they released there first ‘warning’ way back in the 60’s and they are still wrong today. They haven;t even manged to understand what a resource is, much less correctly predict the future.

    • kluelis

       /  January 2, 2019

      Yeah but which club of Rome?
      SS Lazio or A.S. Roma?
      Both useless BTW.

  6. Conspiratoor

     /  January 2, 2019

    As a wise old zen monk once told me – if insects disappeared from the earth, life as we know it would be gone in less than 50 years …but if humans left the planet life would be flourishing in 50 years

    • Pink David

       /  January 2, 2019

      I don’t think he was very wise.

      • Gezza

         /  January 2, 2019

        He’s right though.

        • Pink David

           /  January 2, 2019

          Is he?

          Life flourishes everywhere. If there were no insects, something else would fill the void.
          If there were no humans, ” life as we know it would be gone”

          This is the wisdom you expect from a bar fly.

          • Gezza

             /  January 2, 2019

            We are a large hairless ape that monopolises the planet’s resources & destroys the natural environment in the gigantic hives we build & the weapons we then demolish those with when we go collectively insane on a regular basis .We pollute, deforest, change the landscape to farm it or use it for other purposes that don’t benefit or suit the lifeforms there before, & fill the oceans & waterways with indisposable rubbish that is being ingested by sea creatures & appears to be killing some.

            Looked at purely objectively we are the most unpredictable & environmentally destructive creature, & biggest threat to most other life forms, & our own species, that has ever existed on earth.

            The planet & the universe don’t care if we disappear, they will just carry on producing & evolving more life forms.

            • Pink David

               /  January 2, 2019

              “We are a large hairless ape that monopolises the planet’s resources & destroys the natural environment….”

              Speak for yourself. I’m very much a hairy ape.

            • Gezza

               /  January 2, 2019

            • Pink David

               /  January 2, 2019

              Fuck, I’ve left my webcam on again….

            • Gezza

               /  January 2, 2019

            • Conspiratoor

               /  January 2, 2019

              And three monkeys sat in a coconut tree
              Discussing things as they are said to be
              Said one to other now listen, you two
              “There’s a certain rumour that just can’t be true
              That man descended from our noble race
              Why, the very idea is a big disgrace
              No monkey ever deserted his wife
              Starved her baby and ruined her life

            • Duker

               /  January 2, 2019

              Virtually all the ‘bad’ human habits can be found in one form or another in other species. Chimps are much the same
              You want destructive – Ill give you locusts and some of those amazon
              leafcutter ants are amazing.
              As for pure killers anopheles mosquito wins that hands down

          • Conspiratoor

             /  January 2, 2019

            “Something else would fill the void”. In a mere 50 years? Not a hope in hades…

            http://thescienceexplorer.com/nature/what-would-happen-if-all-earth-s-insects-vanished

            • Duker

               /  January 2, 2019

              Well they arent going to disappear in 50 years either, even a million years is a blink of the eye in evolution terms.

      • Conspiratoor

         /  January 2, 2019

        Okay perhaps if we switched ‘human’ for ‘politicians’.

        But meteors aside it might take a little longer…

        35,000 years later. Lead deposited into the soil will get cleaned away.
        75,000 years later. Cadmium deposited into the soil will get cleaned away.
        100,000 years later. Carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere would revert to its normal level.
        250,000 years later. Plutonium bombs kept in stock will corrode away and their radiations will be lost in the background.

        You might be right but interesting to speculate. Did you see the natgeo series ‘life after people’ and a number of youtube variations on the theme?

    • kluelis

       /  January 2, 2019

      10 billion living human beings is testament to the success of human evolution.

      • Pink David

         /  January 2, 2019

        Yes, that is true.

        • Gezza

           /  January 2, 2019

          Yeah, but the issue isn’t the success of human evolution – it’s the cost to the planet and other life forms. We’re not the best thing that ever happened. Nor is there any guarantee we’ll be around all that long, on the overall evolutionary scale. Hubris might even do us or our descendents in, if an asteroid or another outburst of global volcanism doesn’t.

          • Pink David

             /  January 2, 2019

            Is it a zero sum game then?

            There is a cost to all evolution, are you really looking for stasis?

            • Gezza

               /  January 2, 2019

              I’m not looking for anything, I’m not even criticising humans. I’m just saying we are still basically territorial apes whose primary evolutionary survival tools are opposing thumbs, the power of abstract thinking & the ability to make predictions and act accordingly at the individual level to preserve ourselves where possible. But that abstract thinking thing leads to religions and dumb stuff being done by millions.

              It doesn’t take much to make us behave like animals seeking to either dominate or resist being dominated. Collectively, we allow that animal impulse to operate across all areas of our societies & politics & nationalism or ethnic/cultural identity are is two classic examples.

              It’s not really either good or bad, looked at dispassionately. It’s just how we are. Despite thousands of years of millions of people trying not to be like that.

  7. Patzcuaro

     /  January 2, 2019
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  January 2, 2019

      Customer to waiter : Garcon ! Do you have frogs’ legs ?
      Waiter: Yes, sir.
      Customer: Then hop out to the kitchen and bring me a cup of coffee.

  8. The Consultant

     /  January 2, 2019

    Back in the mid-1970’s, at the peak of The Population Bomb hysteria, the general consensus was that the global human population in the mid-21st century would hit 20 billion. A decade later it was down to 15 billion, and the estimate continued to drop as demographers realised that birth rates were dropping far faster than they’d anticipated, in Developed nations first, but then followed by the Developing nations as well. Current estimate for 2050 is around 9 billion, with some estimates at 11 billion – and like Japan, Russia and others now, the population may actually decline by 2100.

    Fifty years from now the question may well be how to take care of a huge bulge of old people, and how to have economic growth with a falling population: Japan is an omen on that front too, and the likes of China and Russia have begun to hit the panic button and are trying to boost their birthrates to at least replacement level (21 babies per 100 woman). Based on this history I don’t think they’re going to succeed.

    As far as these ‘World Scientist’ clowns are concerned, they’d make more impact if they acknowleged the progress made on classic pollution and poverty in the last twenty five years. A fight for resources? Gawd, same crap I heard forty years ago, as if mercantilism still lives in the heads of these idiots. To put it bluntly, things have never been better for humanity overall, and the areas of the world where pollution and poverty remain are being steadily improved with the same methods that have worked elsewhere – which is to say markets, trading and a measure of personal freedom. Where those are being ignored, it’s not so good.

    • Pink David

       /  January 2, 2019

      “Fifty years from now the question may well be how to take care of a huge bulge of old people,”

      China and Japan are heading there first. Importing people from the 3rd world doesn’t seem to be a workable solution, despite most western countries doing it as a matter of policy.

      • Duker

         /  January 2, 2019

        Take care ? The bulge of older people provides all the numbers required- just we have decided that older people , even those over 55 shouldnt be involved in ‘care’

        • Pink David

           /  January 2, 2019

          Good luck with that when they are all in their 80’s

          • Duker

             /  January 2, 2019

            still will be a lot of 60-65 yr olds who would want some work.

        • Gezza

           /  January 2, 2019

          Elsewhere in the world it’s still the kids who look after their own parents. Ma was talking to the pleasant middle aged lady from the Philippines (who married a kiwi widower, & whose kids picked her) and who provides her with her home help.

          She said she sends money home to her siblings to help them & that in the Philippines there’s no system like NZ where the state assists with elder care for those who can’t afford it. The children do it.

  9. Conspiratoor

     /  January 2, 2019

    And lets not forget agenda 21. Im warming to the genocidal depopulation conspiracy where the elite kill off us ‘useless eaters’ with chemtrails and roundup. I read somewhere the greens have also been aligned with depopulation as the only viable long term solution

    • kluelis

       /  January 2, 2019

      With so many chemicals used in the food these past 50 years most GP’s now advise a cup of round up a day to maintain our immune system.

  10. The Consultant

     /  January 2, 2019

    “My question is: Did we change?” Stuart Scott rhetorically asked the audience at the seminar. “Unfortunately, not much.”

    And the next question he should have asked was: “Are we better off now than we were in 1992”?

    I think the answer for humanity as a whole is unequivocally, “yes”. But accepting that might mean Mr Scott and friends would have to examine what they claimed 25 years ago and ask the dreaded question of themselves: since we were wrong then, could we be wrong again now?.

    Given that their assumptions, and hence their predictions, are the same now as they were in 1992, that would be en especially good question to ask themselves.

    But they won’t.

  11. a great man once said “HEMP can save the world’ (not MJ) : biodegradable plastics, biofuels, paper (with less chemicals), & many other ORGANIC alternatives

    BUT the pockets of the polluting corporates are very deeeeep & the power-brokers prefer their rhetoric (&funds)

  12. The world along with its people is in constant change. It is beyond me how masses of voters put a nasty old man behind the wheel to face, take care and understand new decades‘, new generations of young people, a failing ecosystem and the slow death of the soil we walk on. Beyond me.

    • Gezza

       /  January 2, 2019

      When you’re older & have experienced a bit more of what history serves up, you’ll probably understand better. I remember thinking the same thing around your age. Still do.

    • Duker

       /  January 2, 2019

      great to hear its beyond you , because it is . You still have the easily scared mind of a 12 yr old and want everything to be ‘pretty’ . some of us lived through a time when nuclear war might have happened – but it didnt, the previous generation had real hardship and two world wars, 10s of millions didnt survive those..but most didnt.
      Your generation cant take a moments dissatisfaction let alone any hardship

  13. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  January 2, 2019

    Here’s some data on World Population.
    yep, some nations have stabilised their populations and an aged bulge might be moving through, but there are large regions of the Globe where that is not the case…
    Africa has 41% of its population 15 years & under.
    https://www.statista.com/statistics/265759/world-population-by-age-and-region/

    If a region is displaying a J-shape curve for its population/time graph, then its still in a population explosion phase.
    https://www.populationpyramid.net/world/2017/

    The World might level off at 9bn, but at the rate the population is still growing, I think its more likely to be on track to hit 11bn by 2050.
    (Current population 7.7bn, ann. growth rate 1.07%)

  14. Alan Wilkinson

     /  January 2, 2019

    God, there is some crap here. The solution is to fix the countries broken by war, bad governments and stupid, primitive belief systems so they can become as wealthy as the rest of the world and control their birth rate and fix their enviromental catastrophes. That’s all.

    • Chuck Bird

       /  January 2, 2019

      Yeah, neuter all Muslims.

    • alloytoo

       /  January 2, 2019

      @ Alan W.
      In the 1970’s when the climate scientists were warning us of the impending ice age (they really have an outstanding record when it comes to correct predictions,,,,,) Jerry Pournelle wrote a series of essays addressing the concerns of the day.
      The series was entitled “Survival with Style” and offered solutions which allowed us to address our problems without sacrificing our high energy civilization. (the essays were collected in a book entitled “A Step Further Out.”)

      The gist of the essays is that most of our problems (real or imagined) can be addressed with clean abundant energy and that for the immediate future that energy can be supplied via nuclear power.

      It’s a very unpopular solution, not because of the radiation or waste (these are after all technical issues), but because cheap reliable nuclear energy will address poverty and “Co2” climate change allowing us to become wealthy enough that the bulk of our problems will become technical issues and we will survive with style, thereby putting alarmist parasites out of business.

      The proposed alternatives won’t ever solve anything, and will be forgotten long before the food riots end.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  January 2, 2019

        Yep, with energy and brains you can do anything and fix anything. Without either nothing works.

      • Griff.

         /  January 3, 2019

        In the 1970’s when the climate scientists were warning us of the impending ice age .
        oh dear thanks for the talking point
        it shows you are a sucker for propaganda

  15. Alan Wilkinson

     /  January 3, 2019

    Just to cheer Griff up, here is the latest monthly global temp data from his favourite source: