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Bangor scientists sign letter to humanity

Bangor University scientists are among the 15,364 scientists from 184 countries world-wide who have signed a ‘warning letter’ to humanity about the dire situation that we face.

This follows a “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity” letter penned 25 years ago, calling on humankind to curtail environmental destruction and cautioning that “a great change in our stewardship of the Earth and the life on it is required, if vast human misery is to be avoided.”

The new letter reviews the original and finds that only in one area have we managed to  solve or reduce one of the problems identified- that of the ozone hole. All the other challenges identified have remained unsolved or worsened.

“We are jeopardizing 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,” they write.  The letter then continues to describe steps that can be taken to address these issues.

Peter Haswell a Graduate teaching assist and PhD researcher at the University’s School of Biological Sciences and one of the signatories of the letter, is also credited in the letter’s acknowledgements for his part in contributing to one of the facts.

He says:

"If possible I would like to help focus everyone towards a more hopeful outlook on the issues facing humanity and also encourage them to realise that as individuals their actions do count. 

While the warning might seem daunting, it also carries much encouragement and hope. Points in the letter provide everyone with ways they can be a part of creating a brighter future.

My contribution to the article was very small (Examples of diverse and effective steps humanity can take to transition to sustainability include the following (point J): divesting of monetary investments and purchases to encourage positive environmental change) but I am immensely proud to be acknowledged for helping the authors to convey these incredibly important messages.

We all have some level of control over how we live our lives, the places we invest our money and the products we purchase. If enough individuals act then we really can make positive environmental change and discourage damage. If you want to encourage a company or organisation to cause less environmental damage then each of us has the power to avoid providing them with money until they reduce their impacts. We can equally encourage those taking positive actions by supporting them with our purchases and investments. As individuals we can amount to large positive change, especially if we encourage and support each other in doing so as a global community."

Read the full paper here: 

Publication date: 17 November 2017

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