375 Leading Scientists Make Plea To US Voters

A group of 375 scientists, including renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, has injected itself into the 2016 U.S. presidential election with an open letter about climate change.

The letter is attributed to "Concerned Members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences," and declares that "the problem of human-caused climate change is real, serious, and immediate, and that this problem poses significant risks" to the future of humanity.

"During the Presidential primary campaign, claims were made that the Earth is not warming, or that warming is due to purely natural causes outside of human control," the scientists wrote. "Such claims are inconsistent with reality."

While the letter doesn't mention Donald Trump by name, the scientists faulted "the Republican nominee for president" for expressing skepticism about humanity's impact on climate change and for saying he'd consider pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement. The accord, which was negotiated by leaders from almost 200 countries, aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by enacting international standards.

In May, Trump said he'd "cancel" the Paris Agreement if it has a negative impact on the U.S. economy. The U.S. can find other ways to address climate change, the businessman said.

"Any regulation that's outdated, unnecessary, bad for workers or contrary to the national interest will be scrapped and scrapped completely," Trump said, according to the BBC. "We're going to do all this while taking proper regard for rational environmental concerns."

The group of scientists, which includes 30 Nobel Prize winners, warned that backing out of the Paris Agreement would encourage other countries to abandon it. Other nations, they wrote, look to the U.S. for leadership on global warming issues.

"The United States can and must be a major player in developing innovative solutions to the problem of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases," the scientists wrote.

"Walking away from Paris makes it less likely that the U.S. will have a global leadership role, politically, economically, or morally. We cannot afford to cross that tipping point."

Sources: ResponsibleScientists.org, BBC, The New York Times / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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