World Scientists' Warning to Humanity

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In late 1992, the late Henry W. Kendall, a former chair of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) board of directors, wrote "World Scientists' Warning to Humanity", which begins: "Human beings and the natural world are on a collision course." A majority of the Nobel Prize laureates in the sciences signed the document;[1] about 1,700 of the world's leading scientists appended their signature.

It is sometimes offered in opposition to the Heidelberg Appeal—also signed by numerous scientists and Nobel laureates earlier in 1992—which begins by criticizing "an irrational ideology which is opposed to scientific and industrial progress, and impedes economic and social development." This document is often cited by those who oppose theories relating to climate change.

However, the Heidelberg Appeal offers no specific recommendations and is not an indictment of environmental science: "We fully subscribe to the objectives of a scientific ecology for a universe whose resources must be taken stock of, monitored and preserved. But we herewith demand that this stock-taking, monitoring and preservation be founded on scientific criteria and not on irrational pre-conceptions."

In contrast, the UCS-led petition contains specific recommendations: "We must, for example, move away from fossil fuels to more benign, inexhaustible energy sources to cut greenhouse gas emissions and the pollution of our air and water. ... We must stabilize population."


  1. ^ "Textfile containing the Warning and a list of selected signatories". Retrieved 2011-08-26.  (Archived by WebCite® at

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