End game: Tipping point for planet Earth?
The Peel lecture theatre, School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol
By 2050, there will be 10 billion people on Earth, according to conservative estimates. That is billions more than our planet can sustain without big changes to how we use and manage our resources. So what will happen when vast populations endanger the world’s food supplies? Or water? Or our energy needs? Or the planet’s biodiversity? And what happens if all these become critical at once? Life would go on, but with obvious decreases in the good things and an obvious increase in the negatives. We would have to accept as ‘new normal’ a world that we would now consider abnormal and undesirable.
How do we know it’s not too late? If we act now, we can still avoid the global tipping point that would see us living and dying in a very different world from the one we were born into. However, the window of opportunity will shut within the next ten to 20 years.
For nearly 25 years world-renowned scientists Anthony Barnosky and Elizabeth Hadly have been working together to uncover the scientific underpinnings that will help ensure a viable future for humanity and our planet. They offer real, achievable solutions to the vital questions we need to be asking now.
Their latest book, End Game: Tipping Point for Planet Earth?, provides the basis for Mélanie Laurent’s new film Tomorrow (Demain) premiering at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, December 2015.
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This Bristol Festival of Ideas event is being supported by the Cabot Institute.