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Upcoming: George Monbiot talks climate on Second Life

Cafe1.jpgThis Thursday, take-no-prisoners environmental writer George Monbiot of The Guardian steps up to the podium at Second Nature, Nature’s archipelago in the virtual world of Second Life, to give a talk on climate change.

monbiot.jpgIn his 2006 book Heat: How We Can Stop the Planet Burning, Monbiot argued for 90% emissions cuts by 2030 to stop dangerous climate change. With the UK and other governments struggling toward a consensus that 80% cuts must be made by 2050, we’ll see how he feels about the planet’s current prospects.

Monbiot speaks at 17:00 GDT (12:00 EDT). Second Life avatars can attend here.

Anna Barnett


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    PaulD said:

    An article on indicates that only two countries are currently producing emissions at a level consistent with an 80% reduction—i.e. Haiti and Somalia. I don’t see many people volunteering to live the lifestyle of an average Haitian. So at least using current technology, I see little or no chance of acheiving a 90% reduction within the foreseeable future.

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    Steven Earl Salmony said:

    Are many too many leaders of the global political economy spurning their moral obligations by turning a blind eye to human over-consumption, overproduction and overpopulation activities that can be seen recklessly dissipating the natural resources and drastically degrading the environs of our planetary home? The Earth is being ravaged; but it appears too many politicians, CEOs and institutional executives are willfully refusing to acknowledge what is happening.

    Because the emerging global challenges that could soon be confronted by humanity appear to so many responsible, able and courageous scientists to be human-induced, many of our political leaders and economic powerbrokers have evidently been eschewing unwelcome responsibilities and unexpected duties which must be assumed now if life as we know it and the integrity of Earth are to be preserved for our children and coming generations.

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    Steve Salmony said:

    Dear George Monbiot,

    It appears that the family of humanity is beginning to come face to face with a myriad of growing global challenges – air pollution, sea and land contamination, global warming, peak oil, diminishing global supplies of grain, overfishing, the dissipation of Earth’s scarce resources, desertification, deforestation, urban sprawl and autoban congestion are examples – the sum of which could soon become unsustainable, given a finite planet with the relatively small size and make-up of Earth. What people generally appear not yet to see clearly enough is that these looming threats to human wellbeing and environmental health can be directly related to the current huge scale and anticipated growth of skyrocketing absolute global human population numbers.

    That is to say, the unrestrained increase of per-capita consumption of limited resources, the unbridled global expansion of human production/distribution capabilities, and the rapid rise of numbers of Homo sapiens worldwide are occurring synergistically and could be fast approaching a point in history when these distinctly human, global “over-growth” activities are patently unsustainable.

    What do you think about this view of the ominous, human-forced predicament that, at least to me, appears to be looming on the far horizon? What additions, deletions other changes would you make to this admittedly brief and general description of humankind’s forbidding global circumstances?

    How would you describe what has been elsewhere called the “world problematique”?



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    Steven Earl Salmony said:

    What concerns me most of all is this: the family of humanity appears not to have more than several years in which to make necessary changes in its conspicuous over-consumption lifestyles, in the unsustainable overproduction practices of big-business enterprises, and its overpopulation activities. Humankind may not be able to protect life as we know it and to preserve the integrity of Earth for even one more decade.

    If we project the fully anticipated growth of increasing and unbridled per-capita consumption, of rampantly expanding economic globalization and of propagating 70 to 75 million newborns per annum, will someone please explain to me how our seemingly endless growth civilization proceeds beyond the end of year 2012.

    According to my admittedly simple estimations, if humankind keeps doing just as it is doing now, without doing whatsoever is necessary to begin modifying the business-as-usual course of our gigantic, endless-growth-oriented global economy, then the Earth could sustain life as we know it for a time period of about 5 more years.

    It appears to me that all the chatter, including that heard in most “normal science” circles, of a benign path to the future by “leap-frogging” through a ‘bottleneck’ to population stabilization, and to good times ahead in 2050, is nothing more than wishful and magical thinking.

    Unfortunately, even top rank scientists have not found adequate ways of communicating to humanity what people somehow need to hear, see and understand: the reckless dissipation of Earth’s limited resources, the relentless degradation of Earth’s frangible environment, and the approaching destruction of the Earth as a fit place for human habitation by the human species, when taken together, appear to be proceeding toward the precipitation of a catastrophic ecological wreckage of some sort unless, of course, the world’s colossal, ever expanding, artificially designed, manmade global economy continues to speed headlong toward the monolithic ‘wall’ called “unsustainability” at which point the runaway economy crashes before Earth’s ecology is collapsed.

    Steven Earl Salmony

    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,

    established 2001

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