By 2050, the earth’s population is expected to pass 9 billion. By 2100, climate models predict global temperatures will be on average 4°C warmer and sea levels will be 0.7m higher under “business as usual” conditions. The impacts of such changes have been widely studied and many will be felt within our lifetimes. According to the International Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fourth Assessment, the impacts will be overwhelmingly negative across the globe, including increased hunger, water stress, flooding, extreme weather, and impacts on biodiversity and human health.
How can we balance the needs for population and economic growth against the needs for environmental stability? The solutions to such a dilemma will require innovative new policy and will challenge the basic assumptions upon which our economy is founded.