Purchased a FORA.tv video on another website? Login here with the temporary account credentials included in your receipt.
Sign up today to receive our weekly newsletter and special announcements.
Hello my name is Alexander Rose, I am the executive director at the Long Now foundation. About seven months ago the Pierre and Pamela Omidyar foundation when we asked them for a grant, they asked us to have it matched by new membership and we set ourselves a fairly ambitious goal of a $100,000 of new memberships, not just renewals and in that seven months and just ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ the deadline for that was ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ is coming up tomorrow Saturday night and we just reached that earlier today. So I want to thank you all and with that I will leave it up to Stewart to introduce Paul. Thank you very much. 1959 Paul, there was this assistant professor at Stanford, I was a biology major. I was studying the absolutely lowest status subset of biology that was in those days which was the ecology and all the cool guys were going to molecular biology, we had Nobel Prize winners in the department all those stuff, but I was hanging out with this guy who had a snoopy dancing around saying I love butterflies on his door and his job was to watch me watch tarantulas which I was doing at Jasper Ridge which he has been helping protect ever since I have been in Stanford. Biology is the language I was taught by Paul and others to think with, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the best language I have ever learnt. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a way to understand not only biology, but I think everything that is interestingly complicated. That was made easier a couple of years later when a concept was co-invented by Paul and a botanist named Peter Rabin. The concept was co-evolution and I was so charmed by the idea of co-evolution which is that organisms spent most of their time adapting not to the rocks and the climate changes, stuff like that, they spend most of their time adapting to each other, we are busy adapting back, we are busy adapting back to those adaptations and you get various convolutions and conflations of species who spend really extraordinary time in ingenuity figuring out complicated things they do with each other and then it becomes its own package. Co- evolution is such an interesting concept, the contrary was that went up naming a magazine after it. Co-evolution Quarterly thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the kind of thing one among a great many that my teacher Paul Ehrlich gave me and he is here tonight to give you something. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s hard to believe you know that we go back 49 years and yet we are only 53 years old, I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t know how the hell it works. I am looking at the audience here and I have discovered that their formality at Stanford doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t carry over to San Francesco, so I am going to get rid of this damn thing. Ann and I named this book that we are flogging at the moment, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe Dominant AnimalÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ and I thought a lot about that when we were giving the title, you know should it be the dominant organism or the dominant critter or something like that, but I always remembered something actually you mentioned a Nobel laureate in our department, at that time it was Josh Lyrebird and Josh said that the survival of humanity is not preordained, that what he was thinking about is that indeed a virus or a bacterium could very well do all of this in us, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s not impossible and right now I have a virus thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s trying to pull it off, so if I fade, faint or anything else just excuse me. What I am going to try and do is give you a very brief overview of - not just my view, but my view and that of the vast majority of my colleagues and the vast majority of ecologists and I think the vast majority now of biologists about the state of the world. The genesis of this whole thing actually goes to Stanford. One of the things that annoying me perpetually in my 49 years on the faculty there is that you can get all the way through Stanford university without having the slightest clue about how the world works, for example we had a professor of computers, so you can do the same thing at Berkeley by by the way at less cost. The ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ we had a professor of computer science who thought that was manufactured and in fact most people in both universities have no idea where their food comes from or what's involved in producing it, yeah they donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have any real idea of where they came from, what the history of our species is, how we became the dominant animal and after all if you think about it, the last couple of centuries, the 19th and 20th centuries, we have taken over the world, we have first lased it with railroads, we have cleared much of the land surface to grow crops, we had then lased it with highways, we filled the air with ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ with jet transports and so on and really taken over the whole damn thing. There is right now, we form something like 15% of the surface, 12% really basically and then there is another 3% thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s we are built on and then there is 25% roughly that we graze often intensively, I was just in South Africa, you should see some of the areas for instance zoo land where there is not a blade of grass longer than that and another 30% or far as that we exploit and the other remaining 30% is mostly under ice or so high in the mountains that we havenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t managed too much with it yet. Every cubic centimeter of the biosphere, the area occupied by life has already been modified by Homo Sapiens, we have - we now mobilize minerals which are important parts of the ecosystems for industrialized society at rates higher in general than they are mobilized by natural processes of erosion. We ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ you may have heard our altering the composition of the atmosphere not necessarily to our benefit. We have spread novel chemicals all over the entire planet, some of them have characteristics that donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t bode particularly well for us, so there is no much question that we dominate the planet and we have dominated it, we have gained that dominance for a series of reasons that we partially understand. I wouldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t tell you that science knows exactly where we came from and why and everything would happened, but what I would like to do now is at least briefly, I am going to set the buzzer of my watch because Stewart said I cannot talk more than three hours and I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t want to run a minute over, but how did we get to be the dominant animal? What do biologists know about that now? Well one of the ways we got to be the dominant animals, we arrange for that asteroid or that comet to hit the planet, wipe out the dinosaurs. If we hadnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t wiped out the dinosaurs, we wouldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t be here tonight, it would be velociraptor talking to you and a very different system, but instead of being tiny little things that ran around and fed on dinosaurÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s eggs, we have mad it to the top and the general thought is that are something that was very much like one of our earliest mammalian ancestors who is a tarsier which you have a picture of here. I have seen tarsiers in the wild except ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ have any of you ever gone to Africa and try to see a mere cat or something like that, it is always running you can never see, get a really good look at them, well thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the way the tarsiers are, they live in bushes and they grab insects, but they move around very-very rapidly as part of their defense, but what happens if you live in the bushes or trees and you eat insects? Well two things that are very important in retrospect for our dominance, first of all your eyes tend to rotate around to the front of your heads, you get good binocular vision and then you have digits that are able to grab things like insects, you can judge distance, you can grab things. ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s wonderful and thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s important because if we had eyes on the side of our head, we would have had a hard time making stone tools and things like that or even making computers and if we didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have the fingers, again tough job, so it was important we went in the trees for a while. It was also important of course that we came down because if you are going to become a dominant animal on the planet, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s really hard to do things like practice agriculture without which we couldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have huge populations or mine minerals and so on and so forth. The trees are pretty limited, a pretty limited environment and as many of you know the general thought is that climate change in Africa brought the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ the chimps were and ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and our ancestors were partially terrestrial, when it dried out our ancestors went out on to the savannas and began to live fully terrestrially. One of the interesting things ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ I am totally incompetent on anything technological. By the way I have to be very careful because somebody was going to stand here and catch me if I fell off the stage when I tried to use this, but he is chickened out, he is so how big I was ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ one of the things to remember about is which we donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t understand why it happened as we became bipedal before we got big brains. That was the first step and there is still a lot of controversy about exactly where and when, but we know for sure that the australopithecenes were bipedal and there were probably earlier ones that were bipedal as well. So the earliest human beings were upright small brain hominids and I call them human beings because we have to, in other words you cannot have for example a president of the United States who is not a hominid and so you got to define thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s upright and has a small brain as a hominid right? So the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ we donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t really know why our brains expanded so much so rapidly, you will notice that they were chimp like until you got through the Australopithecus and then suddenly ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ suddenly in evolutionary time and remember all those is about three million years here. Evolutionary time is generation time and we are sort of a long generation organism, you know fruit flies have 12 days or something, but human beings have 20 years to a generation or 25 and so in a role of this short time our brains really expanded rapidly. Nobody knows for sure why, there is a lot of argument for instance it certainly has to do with our sociality, the fact that we are empathetic and we have a theory of mind as chimps do and so on, all ties in there the biggest mystery because the lousy recordings is when languages with syntax actually developed and there are two general views of this, one is it was going on fairly suddenly maybe from homo habilis to today you know from backend I canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t really see this, but then there for backend just region to today. Some people including my colleague Richard Cline who was brilliant and who ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ what this is based on, things actually that may have happened very- very suddenly 50,000 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ 60,000 years ago that the grunt suddenly became ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ we developed syntax whichever it was, there is no question that the thing that separates us most clearly from all other organisms is a language with syntax, as you know there are lots of other organisms that used tools and lots of other organisms that get laid but language with syntax really does distinguish us from the other ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ the other organisms and ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ I am going to go to the next slide ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ the lay slide was genetic evolution, that is no question for instance the expansion of our brains was tied for whatever reason into our ability of some organisms ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ some of us to reproduce others, natural selection was functioning there, our genome was changing very rapidly, but fairly early on about two and a half million years ago about the time of homo habilis we began to leave the first signs of our culture. Now culture which is non-genetic information which is passed on from generation to generation is not unique to human beings, but in quantity itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s unique, in other words we have a scale of culture unknown in any other organism, chimps have cultures and birds have culture that is again non genetic information thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s passed on from generation to generation. But one of the things we ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ although we have a very nice picture of how evolution occurred genetically we still donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ there is not yet been a Darwin for cultural evolution, you know a lot about it, but we donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t really understand the mechanisms, we donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t really know how to change it for instance if you have a problem with an antibiotic for instance and you are getting resistance to it and thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s evolving, a geneticist can tell you what to do about it, but if you have a problem like a small brain president and you want to know how to do something about it, there is no cultural evolution, you can say ah the thing you have to do is X,Y and Z to change and I will come back to that because I think the biggest problem humanity is facing today is fundamentally a behavioral problem where we donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t know how actually to go about changing, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a problem in cultural evolution and if I said any time in the last hour and a half I will hero on that. This ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ the thing to notice here though is that culture evolved at a very slow rate at first and accelerated. Notice this, this is not a linear scale, you know itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s two an a half million years ago and 50,000 years ago, so the first ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ the old one tool kit was around for a vicinity of 800,000 years followed by the Acheulean over a million years and they went very slow cultural change, now there may have been other cultural changes in records that havenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t been left, but nonetheless this is a fairly good picture of an accelerating rate of change and it really picked up about 50,000 years ago, another big controversy about the big leap forward, Jared Diamond may have taught some of you about this one time or another, but nonetheless if you think that just 50,000 years ago we were still concentrating on stone tools and bone needles and then imagine if you were an anthropologist coming to the remains of earth say 10,000 years from now and you had only the historical record that you got by excavating and you excavated a site from say 1300 AD and a site from today, what would you assume? You would have assumed that organisms of an entirely different genus had made these, in other words the difference between the culture, the artifacts, the non-genetic information which was possessed by people in 1300 is just incredibly different from today where as here you can take people ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ sites a million years apart and imagine itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s exactly the same organism, so cultural evolution has been accelerating at an incredible rate and unfortunately we donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t understand about it as much as we would like to. People have always certainly to the last 50,000 years there has not been any significant change in the brain power of human beings, there is no sign of that at all, some of our ancestors as we know from the archeological record did things the way some very recent people did, this is a picture I took many years ago in the artic before I went to Stanford of an Inuit showing me how they draw huge herds of caribou over cliffs by setting up what they call Inukshuk which simply means a pile of stones which looks like a person, very small groups, but they would herd the caribou towards a funnel of these cairns, this is a model of one of which stand about human size, sometimes they had arms on them of rocks sticking out and they would have children and women behind every other third or fourth cairn waving blankets and the caribou would go down either into a lake where they could be speared from kayaks or over a cliff where they would be killed and we know that thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s exactly how a great deal of the megafauna was wiped out in both north America and in Europe by our ancestors ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ you know 15 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ 20,000 years ago. So we have this problem of what got us going in certain directions after we had developed to the point where we were smart social animals with language. Many people think that the big move was the agricultural revolution and there is no question at all thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s we are talking now 10,000 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ 8,000 years ago in about six or seven places around the globe, people settle down and began to practice agriculture. There is no question at all we wouldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t be here tonight if they hadnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t done it because what agriculture did basically as it says there ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t you love people who show you slides and then read the lines to you as if you never learnt to read? Sorry about that, I put it on to remind me but of course the position I am standing I canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t read, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s what it doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t make any difference at all but agriculture had allowed people to produce more food than they personally needed which allowed for specialization in the society and thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the start of something that I call ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ which I think is really important, the cultural gap. When I was with the Inuit each individual knew essentially the whole culture of the society, now there were different jobs that ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ for instance there was men who crouched over the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ the breath hole of the seal in the ice for hours waiting for the seal to stick its head up and spear it, but the women knew how it was done, it wasnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t a secret, there may have been a few secret things that the shaman knew and so on but basically everybody knew how everything worked and how the society was organized and if you think about it, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s going on and on to the point where there isnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t an individual in this audience, not an individual in this country who possesses one millionth of the non-genetic information that our society possess, none of us come close. You know we have 25,000 genes but a 747 has millions of parts, each part is essentially a piece of non genetic information, so one of the things thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s happened to humanity and I think it really has consequences for us, that this enormous gap has grown where each person can utmost have a grasp of a smallest part of our non genetic information. I admit I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t know how the damn television set works, I know if I push on a button it lights up, but thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s about the limit about it, I know the electrons raising around in there but ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and my friends who are physicists mostly couldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t build a television set, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s not the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ you know that there are some area of special expertise, so there is a big culture gap. The next big step after agriculture was probably writing, we had our language with syntax, but we were dependant on memory basically for passing our culture on. When you start writing, then you are no longer depended on memory, things can be passed around in personally and so on and then came Mr. Guttenberg blessedly for those of us who were authors because itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s just hell to copy all those books out by hand and that of course opened the culture gap, that was one of the big steps in opening the culture gap and then of course came the industrial revolution moving us towards dominance once again and of course one of the really big moves there you may have heard of is that we started using solar energy that have been gathered in the past and stored away in the form of coal and teak coal, petroleum and natural gas, another gigantic step and when they were beginning to pay a very high price for and you combine there and there is a nice picture for mobilizing minerals, I mentioned how much we do, the size of some of these open pit mines is absolutely stunning to say the very least, so we are dominant. There you are, there is a lot of non genetic ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ much more non genetic information in that than in any body else in this room, well I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t know maybe one of you has as much. Alright so how do we get to be dominant? Some things we know about, we are very smart, we are very social, we have developed this incredible technological evolution that has nothing to do with our genetics, by the way if you think you were driven to come here tonight to hear me because your genes forget it, there is a sort of mythology promoted by the New York Times and Nick Wade I think more than anybody else that most of our everyday behavior is controlled by our genes, you know women have genes for low necklines and for admiring men who drive fast cars and on and on and on or the people as one of my colleagues used to say are color coded for genetic quality, that was a Mr. Shockley an idiot who used to teach at Stanford, an idiot Nobel laureate who used to teach at Stanford I may say. But basically the essence of all this is our cultural evolution, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s how we got to be dominant on the planet, otherwise we would be chimp like and about as dominant as a chimp, sorry today how many of you have ever seen chimps in the wild? I am curious. Yeah few, they are ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ they are really interesting critters. Has anybody seen bonobos? ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s my last ambition, but they are in such dangerous places and they are so endangered, bonobos by the way the apes we should be imitating, our big mistake is going chimp wise, bonobos settle all of their disputes by genital rubbing and I think itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the coming phase. Okay so we became dominant but of course as all of you know the part of the story is that there is a cost to this dominance and the cost to the dominance is that we are without thinking about it destroying our life support systems and thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s not a great idea, the genius, that brought us where we are is now threatening our very existence and if ice move over here, am I out of the TV light ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ the TV lights are very bright ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ so I should stay here, okay I will look down. The dominance is I think hopefully all of you realize threatening our very existence and the reason is that we are destroying the natural systems of the planet that support us, if you ever hear as I just saw the other day in the papers somebody saying in England that you know the economic situation is so bad that we have got to forget about the environment. ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s like saying you know that ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ that your hair is falling out so rapidly, that you donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t want to worry about your heart disease. The economy is a wholly own subsidiary of the natural systems of the planet, they give us what are called ecosystem services which again you can get all the way through Stanford without ever hearing the term, by the way you can hear it by going to the course which I teach. But you can get that course required, you can get all the way through Stanford without basically knowing anything at all about science even though science is ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and technology are at least half of our culture by any definition. So an ecosystem service is simply something like control of water flows, maintenance of the quality of the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ of the gassiest quality of the atmosphere, pollination of crops today in the United States add supply something on the order base line has the middle about 17 billion dollars a year besides making our diet much better, control of the - natural control of the pest of our crops, if we didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have that natural control over the pest we wouldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t be eating because we cant control crop pest if we - no matter what we try with pesticides without killing ourselves, unless we have the backup of the natural controls on crop pests. Recycling of the nutrients that are absolutely essential to agriculture and forestry, supplying food from the sea, less all the time but ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ or less quality all the time, but still supplying it ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ those ecosystem services are - without they are invaluable, we cannot exist without them and yet they are what we are attacking at the moment at an enormously and increasing level. Its normally discussed in terms of a little formula called the IPAD equation which simply says the impact that a society has on its life support systems is the function of three very general things that multiplied to get it. One is already illustrated up there, the number of people you have, curiously enough the more people you have the more impact you are going to have on your life support systems, the second thing is of course how each person behaves. A group of ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ shall we say people who are subsistence farmers and donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t use fossil fuels at all and so on are going to have less impact per person in Beverly Hills millionaires curiously enough. So you have to not just look at the people who often say well the real population problem in the world is those Indians, there is more than a billion of them you know and thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s really bad, but when you look at how people behave, the most serious population problem in the world is right here in the good old USA where we have 302 million people, we are the third largest country in the world in numbers, but when you are multiplying in our consumption habits we out do everybody else at an enormous level, we are the most over populated nation in the world interestingly enough with 302 billion people, 302 million people in the US, no one has ever come up with even a semi sane idea for why we should have more than a 140 million Americans alive at one time and the idea for why we should have a 140 million Americans alive at one time is national defense because thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the number we had at the time we ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ we won the second world war. Now of course anybody who is nutty enough to think that brut numbers as your defense letÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s just never thought about say the Arabs and the Israelis or what a military power India is and so on and so forth, but nonetheless that is a semi sane reason. Excuse me I need a little gin at this point because I am fading. ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s rejuvenating. So ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and then of course besides having the affluence factor IPAD population times, affluence times technology, you also have to ask what kind of technology and economy and social systems supply the affluence so that if what you are trying to supply in the form of affluence, its transportation, I have a very high ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ I have a very wonderful transportation system for getting to work everyday. One of the reasons I stayed at Stanford is I can walk to work and walk home and itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s absolutely wonderful. If I drove an SUV to work and back home, then my ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ the technology factor on my impact would obviously be very much higher. So let me talk a little bit about the things that are affecting the IPAD equation right now. I can actually say something cheery on the population front and that is in the last 30 years roughly we have learnt than off a lot about how to change human reproductive behavior and itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s actually been changes over a lot of the planet. Not far enough, but itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s been changed, the nicest things is this, one of those win-win situations because the most important thing to do if you want to reduce birth rates is to give rights and opportunity to women. Curiously enough, if you do that birth rates come down. Its been done over a lot of the planet, birth rates have come down in Europe, Japan, even to a degree in the United States although we are still of the super consuming countries about the worst. But ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ so we have seen changes and now the projections are that if we are lucky, that is if we donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have a huge die-off or if reproductive behavior doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t change in the wrong direction we will level population size of somewhere around probably nine billion to 10 billion people around the end of the next century, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s good news. The bad news is of course that if we go to 10 billion you are adding more than one and a half times the number of people that were alive when I was born. In other words adding three billion more people to the planet, we are about 6.8 now. Adding three billion more v people to the planet is not only a gigantic number of people but what you got to remember is their impact ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ everything else being equal ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ is going to be much greater than the last three and a half billion people. Why is that? People are smart. Again, we are smart animals. We became dominant. We didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t become dominant by starting to farm the most marginal land first and to smelt the half percent copper ores that lying around on the surface. What we did that we smelted the one ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ you know we got the copper that didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t need smelting, we farmed the richest lands first, we got the easy water sources first, so every person that you add generally needs to have water transport further, and treated more ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ fuels transported further and farm ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ land farm thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s more marginal and requires more use of fertilizers and so on, well this disproportionate impact of population growth that gets worse and worse as you go on. So thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the bad side of the population story. But its not near as complicated as the bad sight of the consumption story, because we havenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t really even begun to tackle the issue of the consumption of the affluence. Look, we are having the economy staggering in various ways. What do the idiot politicians say? Well, the way to cure this is to consume more. Go out and buy another SUV, by another refrigerator, what is the consumer spending ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ is the big thing that keeps our society rolling, right? And so the pressure is all to increase consumption unless you understand whatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s happening to the world. I will come back to my recent incident on the consumption front. We have ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ if you look at the statistics on fisheries for example, you will see that we barely managed to keep the yield up by more and more fish farming which has terrible ecological consequences, but the fish you are getting are lower and lower quality. If you look at the top three or four fishes that were caught per decade, you see things like swordfish being replaced by things that used to be trash fish. I used to say that one way to tell what the state of the fisheries was to see how many of the fishes you were offered in a restaurant were blackened. You know you blacken a fish, it doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ you know itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s blackening a shoe sole. You canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t taste the fish and so you can use any kind of fish in a blackening exercise or in a fish and chips exercise. So the fisheries are a very obvious place where things have been going down the drain and they have been going down the drain for quite sometime. There is a recent summary of the state of the fisheries but it actually doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t show you how bad things were, because all the recent data coming into the studies have been shown, is that the baseline was wrong, that actually they take it from a baseline, say around 1880 and by that time two thirds of the big fishes were already gone. And so we ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ at times you use to able to at least to say, you could walk from Main to New Finland on the backs of the cod. The numbers are horrifying to what we have done to the oceans ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ sorry. But of course the thing that attracts most peopleÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s attention now on the environmental front is whatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s happening to the so called global heating problem. I want to say two sort of contradictory things about it. I think ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and all of my colleagues think ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ this is an extraordinarily serious problem. Possibly ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ quite possibly civilization ending. The conservative view of the intergovernmental panel of climate change can be said to be roughly this. So there is about a 10 percent chance we will get away with it. If we are living on Tuvalu Atto we have already not gotten away with it. But by that I mean that people in this room are not going to directly suffer from climate change to any significant degree. And again thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s changing pretty fast too. There is on the other end of the probability spectrum, about a 10 percent chance that civilization will end, that because of the battles over resources, because of starvation and countries that are starving having nuclear weapons and so on, that the whole thing will just go down the drain. And the other 80 percent of the probability is spread in between and no body can be sure. ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the conservative about four or five years IPCC estimate. All of the data coming in since tend to suggest that thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s much too optimistic, that in fact the positive feedbacks which are what you donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t want, remember negative feedbacks like a thermostat, the more you produce the more it gets damped down, positive feedbacks the more you produce, the even more you produce. And for instance the fact the artic ice is melting; who cares with the artic ice melts? Well what happens when the artic ice melts? It turns out ice reflects a lot of solar energy back into space. It has got high reflectance. Ocean absorbs it. And so the more ocean the more tundra and so on you have relative to the amount of ice you have the hotter the planet gets. And so there is a very important positive feedback that tends to indicate that the earlier estimates where in the wrong direction. The IPCC works on a very slow scale. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s extremely conservative because of course its results have to be approved by Saudi Arabia and oil companies. And so I think it will be very silly to depend on them. And really important scientists like Steve Schneider and Jim Hansen who you may have seen in the papers the other day, are saying ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ got to get back to something like 350 parts per million if we are going to have a chance and we are going at exactly the opposite direction at an increasing rate. We are putting more and more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, not less. Another problem with the popular view of the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ of the global heating problem is that the big issue is sea level rise. Relax, except if you are in an extraordinary place or extraordinary circumstances you will be able to out-walk it. You wonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t even have to run as the sea comes up. WhatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s going to happen of course ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and is already seems to be happening is that the distribution of rainfall is going to change. Guess what depends on the distribution of rainfall? Agriculture; where do we get our food? Either through an irrigated system which produces disproportionately more than non irrigated systems or rain-fed but you got to have water. And we are going to be changing the distribution of water. Now that may not sound so bad, but itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s not going to be a re-dealing of the cards. Some places are going to get wetter; some places are going to get drier. We are entraining probably something approaching a million of continual change in our patterns of water ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ of precipitation, which means of course that our very expensive water infrastructure is going to have to be continually changed. As Stewart and I were talking before the meeting here California is a hydraulic civilization. Where is our main water supply? Where is it stored? Somebody knows ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ snowpack, in the Sierra. What happens if the snowpack disappears? A lot of the 33 million Californians are going to go somewhere else. I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t know where but they are going to have to go somewhere else. Same thing in the Andes, Lima depends entirely for its water on glaciers in the Andes which are disappearing. Worse yet, South Asia is utterly dependent for its water on the glaciers in the Himalayas which are melting. And so the problems that can be induced by climate change are horrendous and we are running this gigantic experiment to see what happens and there are still people paid by among other some oil companies, to try and fool people about this. And there was recently ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ you may have seen in the paper the suggestion that they ought to sued the same way that the tobacco industry was sued for lying to people about the effects of smoking. Same kind of lying has been going on now at a high rate and very well documented for at least two decades by the Western Fuels Association and other industry groups designed to ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ I mean you can read their own literature. The whole idea is to make it uncertain. To put uncertainty and to make people unsure that the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ science doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t prove it. Well science never proves anything. But I think all you have to do is read the newspapers and see whatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s happening on the climate change front. This may not be out most serious environmental problem. ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the horrible thing and I will come back to some of the others. Well what do you want; you didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t come here to be cheered up, did you? For ChristÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s sake! Toxification of the planet ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ may be itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s related to consumption of course. Perhaps we put on our farm fields and our big money cultures. But toxification may be a worse problem, why? And I am not sure, yes or no. But we spread toxic substances all over the planet. And at least with climate change we have got crack ideas for what to do if donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t get the greenhouse gas emissions down. We are going to dump billions of tons of iron filings in the southern ocean. We are going to put sun shades between us and the sun. We are going to have the battleship Missouri shooting aerosols into the atmosphere, you know five shots a minute to the next 200,000 years, that sort of things. Now these are nutty, they are truly nutty, but at least you know people can think about what you might possibly do. By the way most of them donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t do anything at all for the acidification of the oceans that comes from the carbon dioxide. Now, you donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t want to think of the greenhouse gas is only having the effect of changing the way the heat is transferred in the atmosphere. But with the toxics, what do you do? Get your graduate students out there with forceps to pull the molecules back out of the world. The DDT thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s in the artic icecap ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ in the artic ice and the Antarctic ice and so on ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and some of the things we are releasing in quite large quantities are things that donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have a standard dose response curve. The ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ one of the things thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s wrong with our regulations is the assumption is always made that the more of a chemical you have are exposed to, the worse the effects. But there are a lot of things ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ things that mimic hormones where that can be exactly reversed. That the smaller amounts are much more deadly and itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s because it has a way ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ it depends on the how the receptors that are affected are up regulated or down regulated, and there are many substances, if you are exposed to very small parts you get really nasty results and you donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t get those results if are exposed to big doses. Now you may ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ how many of you know the story of Bisphenol A? Just curious, a few of you, all right. Well this I think shows how Linnaeus misnamed as Homo sapiens, the smart man, that was the original name. What smart man would work very hard to develop a synthetic hormone, to use in things like birth control pills, estrogen, and find out its not quite powerful enough to use in the pills. So you put it into the plastic a baby bottle so it leaches into the babyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s milk. Not very homo sapient, is it? But almost all these hard plastic sports bottles are giving you all a dose of hormones which may actually be more effective at small doses than large, we donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t know. So when I say that the problem of toxification may be worse, there are these weird signs for instance. In some artic villages ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ in some places now there are twice as many girl babies born as boy babies. And there are stories ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ actually it isnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t stories, there are reports of decline in sperm viability in men. That there is a move towards less ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ less viable sperm. Now these are very controversial. But the point is we you start dosing everybody with weird hormones, in combinations you have no idea what the effects are going to be. If you find out one of them is really bad, there is not even a crackpot scheme to come up with, to cure it. You canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t get rid of it; itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s all over the environment. We are releasing thousands and thousands of chemicals into the environment where we have no ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ we have little idea of their effect on human beings, no idea of their effect on other organisms and no ideas of their synergistic ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ possible synergistic effects, one way, two way, three way and N-1 over ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ N times N-1 over two ways. You know you got to have a lot of interactions if you have 10,000 chemicals out there, no way you can test them. And I think ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ obviously some of these things we need to do. The kind of society we have you cant avoid letting some stuff out into the environment. But you sure can avoid putting synthetic hormones into your plastics if they are going leak out. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s like the issue of ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ some of you will disagree with me no doubt, but of animal experimentation. I think I would much rather have a surgeon who trained on a dog operating on my granddaughters heart than a surgeon who learned it on a computer, okay, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s my personal view. But I think there is no excuse at all for taking rabbits, cutting off their eyelids and testing the toxicity of mascara on. I mean there is a difference between an open heart operation for a kid and the safety of mascara which I am told you can actually live without. But ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and I mean so basically we are dumping all kinds of crap that we donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t necessarily have to, and as we donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have a high enough standard for what you ought ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ what might be safe enough to release because you get such a huge benefit from it that the risk can be written off and so on. We donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t really think about these things systematically which I think is a very bad idea. I am blabbering on, I better get moving. Anne and I ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ when we were quoting in Lawrence, Kansas, unbelievable place, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s absolutely ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ its absolutely flat, but intellectually it is, the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ or was. We go to a passion pit. How many of you are old enough to remember what a passion pit is? There are a few of us here. A drive in movie, you used to be able to go to the movies in your car and not get out of the car and you could do all kinds of other interesting things in the car when the movie got really dull, right? Well when we were doing this in the 1950s they come around with something like that and blast it in your car window to keep the mosquitoes down, you know DDT or some other wonderful compound which you didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have to worry about. And now DDT is over the entire planted. I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have to give you the routine on toxic wastes ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ to move on from toxification another thing we do besides toxifying the planed is moving organisms all over the planet without worrying about the consequences. ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a picture of the vine that ate the south. I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t know if you know about Kudzu, but there is just lots and lots of problems created by just carrying things around, curiously enough another big environmental program. And you know I want to keep the cheer going here, so naturally I move right on to the Black Death. But ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ again one of the things we are not preparing for, or we are actually moving in the wrong direction on is the epidemiological environment. Think about it for a minute. What controls the chance of getting vast epidemics, particularly of novel pathogens? Well, one is how many people you have. First of all the novel pathogens are all things that are generated normally ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ or I shouldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t say all, mostly generated in other organisms. So the things like Marburg virus and AIDS and so on came as transfers from natural host into us. Now the more people you have the more people are pressed into contact with natural hosts, the more people you have the better the chance that a transfer will actually occur and will take, and the more people you have the better the chance that the diseases will become established in human beings. For instance if you ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ you canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t measles permanently in a city of less than 50,000 people. And the reason is that everybody either dies or becomes immune and the disease dies out. You got to have big populations to support many pathogens. Well we have ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ guess what, huge population, the biggest we have ever had on the planet. The second thing that we have is very large numbers ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ of probably at least a billion people who are immune compromised because they donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have adequate diet at least down to the micro nutrient level. Then what have we added to this? Very rapid transport systems. Think about it. If a plague ship left Japan bound for India, no body in India got plague because everybody died or became immune on the ship long before it got to India. Where as there was one steward who infected people with AIDS on four continents in one week. So we have very rapid transport systems added into the whole picture. And then of course for bacterial diseases we are disarming ourselves because we have so misused antibiotics that even the antibiotic now of last resort vancomicine, people are showing ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ stranger showing up that various bacteria that are resistant to vancomicine. So we are disarming ourselves at the same time. There is no programs in any government that I know of really adequately stacking anti viral medicines, there are no programs for quarantines, for instance when I got scarlet fever when I was a kid they put a big sign on the door of the house, quarantine, now my parents didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t go anywhere, nobody could come in, and so on. We should be prepared at the national level, at the local level and so on forth, quarantines, we donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have enough hospital beds, another viral plague like the flue in 1918-1919 which killed more people than the first world war, is a real possibility with even bigger results in a larger population with much more rapid transport and so on. So another thing that we should be worrying about that we are not, we actually have been de-funding the CDC pretty much over time, is there. And I just ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ I came back from ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Anne and I were in Southern Africa as I mentioned, last week, very few days ago. And one of our colleagues, somebody that Stewart knows also, teaches there in the University of Pretoria and he is trying to develop capacity in biology and conservation and so on in African students. And he says he have this wonderful class of really bright eager students and realizes that 25 percent of them are going to be dead in a few years, or itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the level of AIDS infection is absolutely horrifying. There is a little good news on that front if true, that there has been a decline in new infection, but Africa is in deep, deep trouble and of course its ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ there is going to be a lag time in seeing the results and one of the true ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Africa is a very sad place. We have ran to a lot of people from Zimbabwe which is being ruined by a single person, and I have a graduate student working now in Kenya and Stewart and I and Anne ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ we will spend in Kenya, a wonderful country that has been driven under by relatively few people in ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ insanely actually. So ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and the President in South Africa isnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t a big help on the AIDS front. So I am not overly optimistic about what will happen in Africa except that the people are wonderful, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s a wonderful continent. Well, and then of course we have the problem in our consumption area about ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ about resource wars because we are in the middle of the first big one now. The first short one of course was the Israeli-Arab war over water in 1967, if you know the history of it. If you donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s in the book. But the one we have now goes back to the time when Churchill decided to switch the Royal Navy to oil and that was the time that the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ then the British, the French, the Russians and as latecomers the United States divided up the Middle East and made countries on the basis of oil deals. The go banking agreement, the Red Line Agreement, all that stuff, which some of our government people never heard of before they decided to try and get their hands on IraqÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s oil. The ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ my colleague Gretchen Daily I think summarized it very well when all of this ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ I think probably most of the people in this room are arguing against the idea of invading Iraq to get its oil. She said, do you suppose that we be planning to invade Iraq if their major export were broccoli? And it turns out, probably not. But it just came out, I mean finally The New York Times, which has had this long slumber on the Iraq war, you know remember they were big promoters of it, slowly came out and admitted the other day that its all for oil. Of course ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ whatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s his name, the head of the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ the ex-head of the SEC, admitted it long before that, whatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s his name? Come on ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ somebody, Greenspan, yeah ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Greenspan. See, when you get old enough your synapses just disappear. Yeah, well of course oil was a big factor in the First and Second World War. We fought over it in both of those wars. Here is a nice sign ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and when you are thinking about why itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s so wonderful to have 302 million Americans. The American Press did not mention, as far as I could determine, one word about the downside of having 302 million people. We were congratulating ourselves for having gone over 302 million. I am reminded of the old saying; you know you should never worry about the population being too small because it can be enlarged by unskilled labor that loves its work. And there is US oil dependency. Guess what, you know if we only had a 140 million people today, guess how much we wouldnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t be importing from the Middle East. And guess how much less greenhouse gases there would be in the atmosphere. In other words have any of you seen anything in the mass media that has pointed out that population size is a major factor in the climate change situation. And I just ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ I want to put some numbers and see oil fuel ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ heard of technical seminar, but more important, think about it. If you do the calculations roughly ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ roughly 50 percent of our military expenditures are designed to keep control over oil. How you do the calculation depends on what you feel about how much of it is designed to beat China out in the Caspian base? And if you think they were building these fancy jet fighters and so on to fight Al Qaeda, think again, because our military is planning to fight China. DonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t forget, their military is planning to fight us too, because China is running out of oil. I will go through some of the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ there is Centcom. Now why should the United States have one of its major military areas covering that? Is it because we are interested in saving sand or something? Not clear, I think it must be oil. And there is the Caspian basin, with giant reserves. And if you are interested more about resource war, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s actually something that is not much in the newspapers but it has been very thoroughly discussed in the literature and here is a good book on it by Michael Claire and just some historical stuff in the Arab Israeli war in ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢67. But for tomorrow place after place particularly in the Middle East has got huge population growth, little water and almost certain fights over it just like there is going to be almost certain more fights after we finish with Iraq and may be Iran in the Centcom area. That we are going to try and stabilize oil flows, this is the techy part of the talk. I wont even read you the -. Some years ago Dennis Pirages a political scientist and I in 1972 got an Op-ed into The New York Times entitled ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWhat if all the Chinese got wheels?ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬ At that time there was 500 million Chinese. Now there are 1.3 billion. How many of you have been to Beijing? Well I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have to tell you. They donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have any garages but they sure got cars. This is some computer nut who has wasted huge amounts of my time, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s just little ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ you know when windows crashes you can think of ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ this guy. All right, what are we going to do about all this? ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the end of the light show and itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s really the end of my time but I am going to say that ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ the situation isnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t that we canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t do anything about this. What you are going to say for sure is there are no silver bullets. In other words if you wanted to change the way we behave then you are going to have to change the design of our cities, you are going to have to dramatically change our sources of energy and how much we use, we are going to have to make dramatic steps to try and preserve what remains of the bio diversity thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s necessary to run our ecosystem services. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s basically a wedge approach. You have got to do thousands of things that are going to move us in the right direction. Why arenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t we doing them? There are lots of reasons besides a total lack of leadership. But we really donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t understand many of them. And thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s why my own research is going more and more into cultural evolution because we have got to understand how to change human behavior. Anne and I with a whole bunch of other people scattered around the world were interested in, in fact I am going to go talk to the Norwegian Government about it in a couple of months, are trying to design not a ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ another millennium ecosystem assessment. How many of you have ever heard of the millennium ecosystem assessment? ThatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s interesting, good. Thousands of scientists got together over the last five, six years to determine what is the state of our life support systems. And you can read their summary paragraph, but if you really want to know and you want to know fast, go into your bathroom, you will probably have a porcelain thing on the floor, lift the lid, look down in and push the lever and you will know whatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s happening to our life support systems. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s better than the executive summary. And what we need is a millennium assessment of human behavior. How to get the kind of discussion we are having here tonight, which is unknown to 99 percent of the people in the world, much more broad? How to get people listening to something besides ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ any of you have ever heard of the Fox News, now there is a very interesting phenomenon in science, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s connected with agriculture, do you all know about Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, CAFOs. This is where you put 10,000 hogs in a room of this size and outside you have 50 acres of hog feces fermenting and geysering and eventually breaking through the dam and pouring down the river, so you have this absolute flood of hog feces going down the river. You know what science has called that, Fox News Effect, thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s right. See, somebody is keeping up with the literature. People have got to understand whatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s going on and scientists canÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t tell them what to do. Scientists can give them a fair idea of what the consequences of various courses will be. But we donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t want a world designed by scientists, I know too many of them. But we have got to somehow get the discussion going and I think thatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s the big challenge for the future, and in part we got to get the social scientists better organized to help us understand why we do the things we do. If I want to give you some hope it is that and I have said this to many audiences, one thing we do know about cultural evolution is it can change with incredible rapidity when the time is ripe. Think about how the Second World War changed the status of minorities in the United States, changed the status of women in the United States. Think ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ a more recent example, none of us, I donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t know anybody including Senators and so on, who had any idea that the Soviet Union would break apart and basically communism would end over most of the countries. But once it happened suddenly we donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t understand why. But we do know then that we could change dramatically. We could begin paying real attention to how we treat each other, and how we treat our environment, itÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s possible. We know it can happen. The issue is how do we make it happen. How do we ripen the time for that to happen? You have been very patient, thank you.