We invite all microbiologists to endorse the Microbiologists’ Warning – microorganisms are so critical to achieving an environmentally sustainable future that ignoring them risks the fate of Humanity.
If you have microbiology training, we invite you to endorse our Consensus Statement published in Nature Reviews Microbiology entitled “Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: microorganisms and climate change”. Our Microbiologists’ Warning aims to raise awareness of the microbial world and make a call to action for microbiologists to become increasingly engaged in, and microbial research to become increasingly infused into, the frameworks for addressing climate change.
Before signing, please ensure you have read the Consensus Statement and/or summary that includes the abstract, introduction, description of Scientist’s Warning Movement, and the Microbiologists’ call to action from the Consensus Statement. By signing the article and adding your name, you will be indicating that you generally agree with our Consensus Statement and will therefore be helping to amplify our message to Humanity.
The Scientists' Warning Movement
The motivation for the Microbiologists’ Warning comes from the Alliance of World Scientists (AWS) and the Scientists’ Warning Movement that was initiated by Bill Ripple (Oregon State University) to alert humanity to the impacts of human activities on global climate and the environment. In 1992, the Union of Concerned Scientists alerted humanity to the threat of climate change and the need for sustainability with 1,700 scientists signing the first Warning. Twenty-five years later (2017) more than 15,000 scientists signed the Second Warning, with the total reaching 21,000+ in 2019. At the heart of the Warning is a call to governments and institutions to shift policy away from economic growth and towards a conservation economy that will stop environmental destruction and enable human activities to achieve a sustainable future. A film, The Second Warning, is currently being made that aims to document scientists’ advocacy for humanity to replace ‘business as usual’ and take action to achieve the survival of all species by averting the continuing environmental and climate change crisis. Linked to the Second Warning is also a series of focused Scientists’ Warning articles (50+), including our Microbiologists’ Warning. In early 2020 the World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency was published with endorsements from 11,000+ scientists, and the website is still taking signatures.
To grow the Microbiologists’ Warning, signatories are encouraged to work with their professional societies to write additional article(s) addressing specific aspects of microorganisms and climate change related to members’ expertise, and particularly emphasizing issues of national relevance.
The ability of science and society to address climate change will be considerably empowered by microbiologists, by agencies demonstrably incorporating microorganisms into their ‘thinking’, and by broadly enhancing microbial literacy in society.
2021: Despite promising developments, the need for climate action has grown even more urgent this year - read The Climate Emergency: 2020 in Review and watch this video on six steps for climate mitigation.
In July 2021, the World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency 2021 was published. Bill Ripple explains that “…..despite the widespread effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate action to date has been insufficient and current planetary vital signs reflect the catastrophic consequences of conducting business as usual. Renewing our call for transformative action, we propose specific policies including phasing out and ultimately banning fossil fuels.”
Chinese Freshwater Ecology Society
- A Behind the Paper post on the Nature Research Microbiology Community website provides a backstory to the Microbiologists’ Warning.
- Nature Editorial Harness microbes for humanity’s future.
- Scientists Warning.org
- Ecological Society of America's Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment Editorial Microbes: overlooked and understudied
- Nature Methods When microbiologists plunge into the ocean and Nature Research Ecology and Evolution Community Microbiologists dive deep
- NEBexpressions Climate change under the microscope
- F1000Prime Recommendation
- F1000Prime Recommendation
- Join ASM in endorsing the microbiologists' warning
- Canadian Society of Microbiologists: Microbiologists' Warning Consensus Statement
- German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology: critically important support from German organizations
- Institute of Microbiology and Biotechnology, Moldova: the microbiologists of the world warn
- Portuguese Society of Microbiology: Microbiologists Alert Humanity
- World Federation for Culture Collections: Microbiologists' Warning
- ASM (Australia): Vertical Transmission
- ASM (Australia): The Microbiologists’ Warning: a Warning from All Microbiologists’ to Humanity
- Singapore Society for Microbiology and Biotechnology: Warning from All Microbiologists' to Humanity
- Swiss Society for Microbiology: SSM Newsletter October 2019
- Austrian Microbiology Initiative (AMICI): endorses the Scientists’ warning to humanity
- ÖGMBT Chemiereport: What the climate does to bacteria
- OUPblog: Learning microbiology through comics
- ISOP: endorses the Microbiologists’ Warning to Humanity Consensus Statement
- FAO. 2020. Climate change: Unpacking the burden on food safety. Food safety and quality series No. 8. Rome.
- FAO, ITPS, GSBI, SCBD, and EC. 2020. State of knowledge of soil biodiversity - Status, challenges and potentialities, Report 2020. Rome, FAO.
- European Commission. 2021. Life and Biological Sciences and Technologies as Engines for Bio-based Innovation (Lot 2) - Studies on support to R&I policy in the area of bio-based products and services.
Where have the signatures come from?
We've received endorsements from Microbiologists all over the world. Here's where they come from:
Organisations that endorse the Microbiologists' Warning
Along with a host of academics, many organisations have added their name to our petition. View their location here: