First, the good news. Since 1,700 top scientists issued a dramatic warning 25 years ago about humanity pushing the Earth beyond its capacity to sustain life as we know it, we’ve managed to stabilize one of the things that was worrying them: the depletion of the ozone layer. Yay us!
Unfortunately, everything else they were warning about has only got worse since 1992. So now almost ten times as many scientists—15,364 to be precise—have come together to give us a “second notice.” With signatories including the likes of Jane Goodall and E.O. Wilson, this is the most scientists to ever co-sign a published journal article. And there’s no reason to feel good about what they’re telling us.
Broadly speaking, there are two big trends that are freaking out the experts. The first is climate change, exacerbated by the greenhouse gases we encourage by burning fossil fuels, cutting down forests, and farming the way we do (particularly for meat production). The second is the mass extinction event that is taking place, threatening many life forms that we take for granted today.