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Science and Innovations

Local Environmental Scientists Sign 'Warning to Humanity'


A dozen scientists from Northern Arizona University signed their names to a “warning to humanity” about the dangers of environmental destruction. KNAU’s Melissa Sevigny reports.

The paper is a follow-up to a similar warning published 25 years ago.

The authors write humanity has failed to make sufficient progress on environmental challenges, including climate change, deforestation and the extinction of species.

NAU professor Paul Beier says he signed his name because he’s concerned about biodiversity. "Ultimately it’s destroying part of our life support system if we don’t conserve biodiversity. But I also think even if we came up with technological fixes, we would still want to conserve that biodiversity, because this is part of our heritage," he says.

The authors write that of the environmental problems identified in the original paper, only ozone depletion has been solved. More than fifteen thousand scientists from 184 countries signed the new document, published in the December issue of BioScience.

Melissa joined KNAU's team in 2015 to report on science, health, and the environment. Her work has appeared nationally on NPR and been featured on Science Friday. She grew up in Tucson, Arizona, where she fell in love with the ecology and geology of the Sonoran desert.
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