Letter: A warning to humanity

Letter: A warning to humanity

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Last week, the Alliance of World Scientists issued its third global warning to humanity. Over 11,000 scientists have again called on humanity to drastically change our behavior to avert a climate emergency.

Read “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency” at https://academic.oup.com/bioscience.

The predictions in all three warnings are dire. These scientists agree that humanity’s lust for economic growth, fueled by the burning of fossil fuels, has unleashed a mass extinction event on Earth. Humanity must drastically change our current trajectory in the next decade to avoid "catastrophic biodiversity loss" on our planet.

These scientists argue that constantly pursuing economic growth metrics (like GDP, jobs and unemployment) have put us on an unsustainable path toward calamity. Humanity would be better served to focus on metrics to improve our planet’s environment and biosphere, on which all life on Earth depends. Human population growth must be stabilized.

This week, President Trump announced that the United States is pulling out of the 2015 Paris Climate Accord. Trump wants to freeze fuel efficiency standards in automobiles. Under Trump, the U.S. has become the world’s largest producer and exporter of fossil fuels. These actions are being taken to promote "economic growth."

Before our politicians will change their policies, we must change our values. We must reject hyper-partisanship and hyper-consumerism. Our economy must become far less important than our planet. Citizens must insist that their governments take immediate action to address climate change. The future of our kids and grandkids, and planet Earth, is in grave peril.

Richard Patterson,

Moline

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