Monday, July 24, 2017

Scientists needed

This was a tricky post to illustrate. So feast on thus stunning photo of Lake Gimli in Manitoba, Canada.

Do you ever feel that no matter what you do, you won’t ever make a difference? You can go to work all day, put in a sterling effort, and achieve a less than perfect outcome (this especially when you’re working with unpredictable biological systems, ie humans or animals). Then you flick on the news and it feels like the world is beyond help.

But fixing wicked problems isn’t about instant gratification. Sometimes it’s those little things we do that add up. Like reducing our use of single-use plastics, avoiding products that use palm oil, or signing a petition to warn humanity of the risky trajectory we are on if we can’t be bothered to change our ways.

If you’re a scientist, take six minutes to read this article (a bit longer if you hit the appendicies), written 25 years after the last warning was published. If you agree, you can become a co-signatory. The article, entitled World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: a second notice (by William Ripple and colleagues) will be published in Bioscience. If you're not a scientist, you can still access and read the article and its worth doing: towards the end of the article it contains 12 steps we can take to transition to sustainability.

The article is currently hosted by Oregon State University, whose website notes that
When you click “Sign the Article” and add your name, you will be indicating that you generally agree that to prevent widespread misery caused by catastrophic damage to the biosphere, humanity must practice a more environmentally sustainable alternative to business-as-usual.
If you want to be included you will need to sign by August 2018, and your electronic signature will form part of the supplemental material. If you know other scientists, share with them. Click here: