FORT COLLINS, CO—Claiming that it is the humane thing to do, and that the planet is “just going to suffer” if kept alive any longer, members of the world’s scientific community recommended today that Earth be put down.

“We realize this isn’t the easiest thing to hear, but we’ve run a number of tests and unfortunately there’s really nothing more we can do for Earth at this point,” said leading climatologist Dr. Robert Wyche of Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science. “Earth’s ecosystems have hung in there for a while, and you have to hand it to the old gal for staying alive this long, but at this point the chances of a recovery are, I’m sorry to say, incredibly unlikely. It might be time to say goodbye.”

“Earth is in a lot of pain, folks,” Wyche continued. “Time to think about sending it off peacefully, for its own sake.”

While admitting that the prospect of saying goodbye to the terrestrial planet is very difficult, Wyche explained to reporters that letting nature take its course would only prolong the inevitable. Wyche also stressed that if Earth is not put down, humanity would ultimately be responsible for its continuing care, which would be “increasingly difficult as time goes on.”

Scientists reportedly also made several heartfelt assurances that the procedure would be quick and virtually painless.

“We understand that you’ve all become very attached to Earth over the years, and it’s hard to let go of something you love like this, but the fact is that no matter what, it simply won’t be able to keep going for much longer,” said Wyche, adding that there would be no guarantees regarding Earth’s already substandard quality of life if it is not put down in the immediate future. “Look, at the end of the day, Earth is 4.5 billion years old and had a great life. The last thing you want to do is wait and draw this difficult ordeal out any further.”

“Granted, this is a very tough decision, so if you need more time to think about it or discuss it amongst yourselves, that’s totally understandable,” Wyche added. “But just be aware that the longer you wait, the more pain Earth will ultimately endure.”

Reportedly sensing some hesitancy on the part of humanity, Wyche then reiterated that very little can be done to prevent or counteract the myriad of maladies currently plaguing Earth, and that putting down the planet would in fact be the caring thing to do at this juncture.

“To be honest, there is a chance that had we taken more drastic steps earlier, Earth would have been able to survive for longer—much, much longer, even,” Wyche said. “But unfortunately, that is now a moot point. Right now, you should just cherish the good times you and Earth had together and give it a gentle and merciful send-off.”

“It’s your choice, though,” Wyche added. “So, you know, take your time.”

At press time, scientists had given humanity a few private moments to say goodbye before finally putting Earth out of its misery.