Happy Earth Day, 2012! Many of you have probably glanced at the Mayan Calendar and, upon seeing no 2013, assumed the end is nigh, and this is the last Earth Day. (Why else would John Cussack have agreed to this?) Of course others believe the Mayan calendar ending was a way for Mayans to ensure future calendar sales (I plan to buy one with a kitten) and so we will still need to make preparations for future Earth Days. Staunchly in the latter camp are the organizers of the Planet Under Pressure Conference, a convening of roughly 3,000 scientists from around the world whose State of the Planet Declaration [PDF] promises “new knowledge towards solutions.”

The conference met last month and was organized by The Global Environmental Change Programmes with the International Council for Science. Their goal was to provide some scientific underpinnings for the coming Earth Summit in Rio, to be attended by more than 100 world leaders, but maybe not our own. And while perusing their materials surely begs the question, “What can we learn from people who spell ‘Program’ with an extra ‘M’ and an ‘E’?” it turns out that the funny spelling means some of these people — like Sir John Beddington, the U.K.’s chief scientific advisor, and Phil Bloomer, director of campaigns and policy for Oxfam — are British, have corresponding accents, and are therefor very smart, so we should listen. (The conference, in fact, was in London.)