Note: The talk described below is available on the City Club of Corvallis YouTube channel.
When Oregon State University professor Bill Ripple and colleagues published a viewpoint article in the journal BioScience last fall — Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice — they were hoping to start a widespread conversation about the state of the Earth and human well-being. The response surprised them: 20,000 co-signers from 184 countries, a flood of correspondence, and according to a science media company, the most widely shared science article of 2017.
Using data stemming from the first scientists’ warning issued by the Union of Concerned Scientists in 1992, Ripple and eight co-authors around the world noted that, with the exception of the ozone hole, global trends are worsening. Climate change, deforestation, access to freshwater, species extinction, human population growth and declining fisheries are among the forces threatening human well-being in the near future. The warning came with steps that can be taken to reverse negative trends, but the authors suggested that it may take a groundswell of public pressure to convince political leaders to take the right corrective actions.
At the February 13 City Club of Corvallis meeting, Ripple will discuss why he and his co-authors wrote the article, what they found, the solutions they suggest and what they have done in its wake. After his presentation, there will be plenty of time for questions from the audience.
The event is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 11:30 at the Boys & Girls Club of Corvallis at 1112 NW Circle Blvd. The event will begin at noon, and a lunch from Valley Catering (meat lasagna with a vegetarian pasta side dish) will be available: $10 for members and $15 for nonmembers. To reserve lunch, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, February 9. You can also pay for lunch online with your credit card.