President Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden, Professor Emeritus of Biology, WU
more about this speaker
Date: April 14, 2014
Time: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Venue: Whittemore House
Summary: The human population has grown from about 3 million people 11,000 years ago (when agriculture was first developed) to 7.2 billion today, and is projected to reach 11 million by the turn of the century–growing by 200,000 people per day! Our levels of consumption of the planet’s productivity are now at about 160% of the total available on a continuous basis (footprintnetwork.org), and are rising rapidly, even though more than 1 billion of us are malnourished and 100 million are on the verge of starvation at any given time. The plants, animals, and other organisms on which we individually and collectively base our survival are disappearing at a rate unprecedented for tens of millions of years. Our system of competing nations seems unable to deal with the great challenges of our time, such as global climate change and biological extinction, as we strive individually and collectively for ever-higher levels of consumption. How can we work together to improve the situation and obtain the best outcome for ourselves and those who will come after us?