September 23: Linus Blomqvist at UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources (London)
Event Date: September 23 2015
UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources, Central House, 14 Upper Woburn Place, London (UK) | Add to iCal
Global conservation efforts focus on protected areas and in recent decades on payments for ecosystem services. While important at the local level, these approaches have proven unable to halt the loss of wildlife and natural habitats on a large scale. Following the release of a new report Nature Unbound, Linus Blomqvist will argue that what spares nature is technological change, along with urbanization and modernization.
Specifically, humans have saved nature by more efficiently using land for producing food, wood, and other goods, as well as through substitution, such as going from bushmeat to farmed meat, from wild fisheries to aquaculture, from fuelwood to modern fuels, and from organic to synthetic fertilizer.
Amidst enormous loss of biodiversity over the last century, these processes offer a glimmer of hope: many of humanity’s impacts on the environment have already flattened out or declined, and most of them have decreased rapidly on a per-capita basis. With population growth slowing down and demand for material goods saturating in developed countries, environmental impacts could peak and decline in the next few decades.
Conservation organizations, governments, and private firms can actively accelerate decoupling, but that will require an embrace of controversial technologies such as nuclear power, intensive agriculture, aquaculture, and factory farms.
This seminar is free and open to the public.