What would a planet with 10 billion people look like?

August 11, 2012 at 1:32 am Leave a comment

The “Ten Billion” question was posed by U. Oxford neuroscientist Stephen Emmott in his novel “science lecture as theatrical performance” at the Royal Court Theatre in London. To learn more, read a brief interview from Science, 27 July 2012 (“Three Q’s”, News of the Week) or check out this theatre review from The Guardian, UK.

Two other green science articles in this issue of Science also caught my eye:

  • Using Radiocarbon to Go Beyond Good Faith in Measuring CO2 Emissions (News & Analysis). Most estimates of carbon emissions are based on cities, companies and countries reporting on their own activities. These numbers get combined to produce global numbers in a process that is called “bottom-up”. One researcher says using “bottom-up” data to control future emissions is like “dieting without weighing oneself.” So do scientists have an alternative? Read this article and see.
  • For China and Kazakhstan, No Meeting of the Minds on Water (NewsFocus). Global negotiations over climate are going nowhere so are simple bilateral negotiations over environmental issues possible? Not if this dispute over water is any indication. The Ili River flows from the Tian Shan mountains in China down to Kazakhstan. If China uses the water before it crosses the border, Kazakhstan literally dries up, and there’s evidence that this is exactly what is happening. Rainfall and snow levels have increased at the river’s headwaters, but the river’s flow has steadily dropped. The article contains a rather amazing quote, China “rejects the idea of national integrity, which asserts that states have the right not to be adversely affected in their development potential by activities of the upstream riparian communities.” This statement would be more amazing if it weren’t so universally held.
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Entry filed under: In the News.

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