Lord Rees of Ludlow – Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal, lectures on surviving the century-talks about the anthropogenic age. Our Earth has existed for 45 million centuries. But the present century is the first when one species — ours — has the planet’s future in its hands. We have forecasts of the pressures that will stem from a rising population, more demanding of energy and resources. But technological advances are less predictable. We need to worry about the downsides of bio- cyber- and nano-technology. We must minimize vulnerabilities stemming from the increasing interconnectedness of the global economy and global society, and the greater empowerment of small groups. This lecture addresses some of these issues, looking towards 2050 and beyond, with a focus on the responsibilities of scientists and policy-makers. The lecture took place on June 3, 2013. This video is an hour long, but extremely insightful, if you are at all interested in the reality of our situation.
There are problems with Lord Rees’s viewpoints, however. For example, he is optimistic about the rise of GM crops and the increase in mobile phone usage (involves slavery, environmental destruction, and mass production of e-crap). Overall, his “cure” is “fixing” a system that has no meaningful value whatsoever. Would it not be best to let the patient die so that new life can emerge?