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On November 13, 2017 a second  world scientists’ warning to humanity was published in Oxford University Press’s prestigious journal Bioscience. Signed by 15,364 scientists from 184 countries, this warning concluded:

To prevent widespread misery and catastrophic biodiversity loss, humanity must practice a more environmentally sustainable alternative to business as usual. Soon it will be too late to shift our course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out. We must recognize in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions that earth, with all its life, is our only home.”

This message came 25 years after a similar message was delivered by 1,575 pre-eminent scientists in 1992.

What’s remarkable is that the support for the second warning continues to grow and it has strong support from the British Columbia scientific community.  For example, of the 15,364 initial signatories, 40 were from the University of Victoria and 61 from the University of British Columbia. 554 scientists from Canada signed the initial warning and this number has grown to 994  since the letter was published.

Anyone who has watched the documentary Running on Climate knows that I take the warning very seriously. It was the reason that I ran with the BC Greens in 2013.

Today in the legislature I rose during Members’ Statements to bring the message of these scientists directly to the BC Legislature.

Below I reproduce the video and text of my delivery. I also append the accompanying media release.


Video of Statement



Text of Statement


A. Weaver: In 1992, Dr. Henry Kendall, a Nobel laureate in physics, organized a statement signed by 1,575 pre-eminent scientists that was sent to government leaders of all nations. The statement warned:

Human beings in the natural world are on a collision course. Human activities inflict harsh and often irreversible damage on the environment and on critical resources. If not checked, many of our current practices put at serious risk the future that we may wish for human society and the plant and the animal kingdoms and may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know. Fundamental changes are urgent if we are to avoid the collision our present course will bring about.

Twenty-five years later, a second warning, now signed by 15,364 scientists from 184 countries was issued. Published last week in Oxford University Press’s prestigious journal Bioscience, this warning concluded:

To prevent widespread misery and catastrophic biodiversity loss, humanity must practice a more environmentally sustainable alternative to business as usual. Soon it will be too late to shift our course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out. We must recognize in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions that earth, with all its life, is our only home.”

The warning quantitatively analyzed the nine environmental issues identified in 1992, and they show that in all cases but one, conditions have actually gotten worse and, in most cases, dramatically so.

Yet that one success story offers us so much hope. In 1987, the Montreal protocol was finalized. All 197 countries in the UN have ratified this protocol, and it has led to a dramatic reduction in substances that deplete the ozone layer. And 170 of these 197 countries have already ratified the Paris climate agreement, which formed the basis of discussions earlier this month at the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the UN framework convention on climate change.

Let us collectively reflect upon the warnings of the world’s scientists, as well as the words of the Gov. Jay Inslee, who addressed the Legislature yesterday. In reference to tackling climate change, he noted:

This is one of the greatest challenges of our time. If we are remembered for anything 100 years from now, this is what we will be judged on. It is time for us rise to that challenge.


Media Release


Weaver delivers warning from 15,364 scientists to the B.C. Legislature
For immediate release
November 22, 2017

VICTORIA, B.C. – Andrew Weaver, leader of the B.C. Green Party, read a warning from a letter signed by from 15,364 scientists in 184 countries to the B.C. Legislature. The Letter, published last week by the Alliance of World Scientists and entitled “World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: a second notice,” warns world leaders that there needs to be change in order to save the earth.

“As leaders, we have a responsibility to younger generations to ensure that our actions today do not leave them worse off than we are,” said Weaver.

“I am proud to deliver this message to the B.C. legislature so that we may be reminded of this responsibility and take urgent action to address climate change. B.C. has a history of leadership in climate action. I am proud that our Agreement with the B.C. NDP has once again moved us in this direction, but there remains much work to be done.

“B.C. has a highly educated workforce, abundant natural resources and is one of the most beautiful places in the world to live. If we have the courage to champion a bold vision, we can ensure that B.C. is a leader not only in climate action, but also in the low-carbon economy that is emerging as world leaders step up to reduce emissions.”

The letter states that in order “to prevent widespread misery and catastrophic biodiversity loss, humanity must practice a more environmentally sustainable alternative to business as usual…Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out.”

The warning comes 25 years after Dr. Henry Kendall, a Nobel Laureate and former Chairperson of the Union of Concerned Scientists, organized a similar statement signed by 1,500 scientists in 1992.

Weaver is a renowned climate scientist who prior to his election in 2013 served as Canada Research Chair in climate modelling and analysis in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria. He was a Lead Author on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s scientific assessments and has authored or coauthored over 200 peer-reviewed, scientific papers and was the Chief Editor of the Journal of Climate from 2005-2009.

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Media contact
Jillian Oliver, Press Secretary
+1 778-650-0597 | jillian.oliver@leg.bc.ca

2 Comments

  1. Pat O'Connor-Reply
    November 29, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    The UN has pointed out that animal agriculture is responsible for more global warming than all forms of transportation combined. Animal agriculture now covers more than half the planet. It’s unsustainable, and also causes most of the chronic diseases we face. Adopting a plant based diet is something we can do to stop the calamitous direction we are headed. There is nothing better we could do as individuals or governments than to promote a whole food plant based diet. Thanks, Pat 604-594-9508

  2. Dayna White-Reply
    November 23, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    I support Andrew and the Green Party. Thank you for your work and for being part of the science community who work towards a healthy planet. I live in BC and I know that people living here will not allow a pipeline to bring dangerous oil to BC waters. It is very clear that thousands will protest the pipeline, even hundreds of thousands will block oil transport.

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