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Twenty-five years ago, 1,500 scientists signed a letter warning humanity that it needed to change its ways in order to save the planet. A new letter, marking the anniversary of that first message, has so far been signed by 15,000 scientists, and the reason for the tenfold increase is that things have gotten much, much worse.
The latest campaign, going by the hashtag #ScientistsWarningToHumanity on Twitter, was started by William Ripple of Oregon State University's College of Forestry, CBC reports. Ripple says he learned about the original 1992 warning last February and decided to update the concerns he found there with new data. "The trends," he says, "are alarming." Ripple says he found a decline in freshwater availability, decreases in biodiversity, and climate change, among other things. The only piece of good news he found is a rapid decline in ozone depletion.
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