The human future - a lecture to the Areces Foundation Symposium on Lynn Margulis. Madrid, 12 / 13 November 2012.
Out of the box and Into the future - A lecture to the Peterhouse Politics Society, Peterhouse College, Cambridge: 24 January 2012.
Thinking differently - A lecture to the British Psychological Society conference on "Crisis and Consciousness" at St Anne's College, Oxford, 2 September 2011. "We all know how difficult it is to think differently. Partly through nature and even more through nurture, our brains work on the basis of ideas and patterns of behaviour drawn from the society in which we live. To change them is inevitably painful, and can even be antisocial. No wonder that we all suffer from the disease of what has been called conceptual sclerosis ... "
The human future - a speech to the Mensa Conference on Population, Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, 24 July 2011.
Sea level rise and its implications - a lecture to the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival, 1 May 2011.
Natural Disasters - a lecture at the Norman Lockyer Observatory, Sidmouth. 30 April 2011.
Humans: a reflection - an address to a private gathering, 19 January 2011.
Environment, Islam and the future - lecture to the British Science Festival, Birmingham, 16 September 2010. "It may be uncomfortable for many today, but western Europe was regarded in the Islamic world as a barbaric outlier of civilization - poor, primitive, corrupt and credulous. The introduction of Islamic ideas and technology, drawing on civilization elsewhere, from Greece to China, was a propeller of the European renaissance in the 14th and 15th centuries ... "
Environment: science & politics - speech on the occasion of the St Andrews Prize for the Environment ceremony, St Andrews: 12 May 2010.
Development: what it should mean - speech on the occasion of the SAFAD Annual Seminar, University of Cranfield, Thursday 6 May 2010.
Alive: the human future - speech on the occasion of the Lyme Regis Fossil Festival, 1 May 2010.
Tomorrow's Kent: keeping the lights on - Speech to the Bay Trust, St Margaret's Bay, Kent, at the Pines Calyx Conference Centre, 20 April 2010.
The future of cities: hazards and environmental change - the Stevenson Lecture Theatre, at the British Museum, 14 January 2010. "We all suffer from the disease of what has been called conceptual sclerosis. Little is more difficult than learning to think differently, above all when problems go to the roots of the conventional wisdom. Old ideas haunt us like ghosts. It is time now to turn to the future of our species in a world which is changing before our eyes ... "
The theory of evolution: 150 years afterwards (extended version) - a Distinguished Lecture given by the author at the Institute for Catalan Studies, Barcelona, on 29 October 2008. "The robustness of Gaia over 3,600 million years is both impressive and reassuring. She has survived the great extinctions from outside the Earth, and the great catastrophes from within it. This has required a remarkable resilience whereby physical and biological mechanisms have adapted to new circumstances. Regarding humans, we are no more than a small, be it immodest, part of Gaia. Only in the last tick of the clock of geological time did humans make their appearance, and only in the last fraction of it did they make any impact on the Earth system as a whole ... "
Markets and the environment - are markets enough? - Lecture to the Judge Business School, Cambridge, UK. 20 February 2009.
The theory of evolution: 150 years afterwards - a Distinguished Lecture in celebration of the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species as published in Contributions to Science, 5 (1): 11-16 (2009) [Institut d'Estudis Catalans, Barcelona, DOI: 10.2436/20.7010.01.55]. PDF version, with Spanish translation.
The theory of evolution: 150 years afterwards (short version) - A lecture to the Institute for Catalan Studies, Barcelona: 29 October 2008.
The future of cities: hazards of environmental change - RIBA Trust Lecture: International Dialogues: Architecture and Climate Change. Royal Institute of British Architects, 21 October 2008.
Climate change and its challenges for the international legal system - Lecture to the Annual Conference of the British Institute of International & Comparative Law. Brunei Gallery, Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, Friday 17 October 2008.
Attitudes to sustainability in China: past, present and future - China Now: Norton Rose Sustainability Conference 2008. Delivered at 3 More London Riverside, 19 February 2008.
Climate change: the hazards and opportunites for agriculture - address to the Oxford Farming Conference, 4 January 2008, at the Examination Schools, Oxford University. The 2008 Frank Parkinson Lecture.
Earth System Science: Gaia and the human impact - this inaugural T. H. Huxley Lecture was delivered at Imperial College, London on 18 October 2007.
Vulnerable earth (2) - the Miguel Aleman Foundation Lecture by Crispin Tickell, delivered in Mexico DF, 24 September 2007.
Energy challenges: the next thousand years - Dinner Keynote Speech at the Energy Challenges international conference, Seattle, 30 March 2007. "Looking forward a thousand years may be difficult, if not impossible, but at least none of us will be here to see whether any of our guesses are right or wrong. Two thousand years ago it might have been possible to guess something of the world a thousand years later; but a thousand years ago it would have been impossible to guess what the world looks like today ... "
Threats to cities: hazards of environmental change - a lecture at Arizona State University, 6 March 2007. "Those of us who live in industrial countries have to recognize that the last 250 years have been a bonanza of inventiveness, exploitation and consumption which may not continue ... "
The Chinese environment: prospects and hazards - Lecture at the Said Business School, Oxford University, 20 February 2007. Organised by the James Martin Insitutute. "Within China the environmental cost may be high, even unworkable. But the government seems well aware of the risks and hazards, and knows better than its critics that it has to do a lot more to look after the only China, indeed the only Earth, there is. They may turn out to be pioneers in doing so. As in technology, the rest of the world may soon be learning as much from the Chinese as the Chinese learn from the rest of the world."
Climate change - the hazards - Lecture at the University of Sheffield, 13 February 2007. "Perhaps the point that still escapes many people is the limited, ephemeral and precarious character of the global environment. Our whole being is within a wafer-thin atmosphere surrounding the surface of a planet as it turns in space at exactly the right distance from the Sun for life. We are tiny parts of a system of life whose complexity passes, and always will pass, human understanding ... "
Climate change: implications for security - A lecture to the Royal United Services Institute for Defence & Security Studies (RUSI) Conference on "Climate Change: The Global Security Impact". At RUSI, Whitehall, London; 24 January 2007. "Fears about climatic, change have replaced the equally apocalyptic fears of nuclear annihilation during the Cold War. It is therefore no wonder that military authorities have taken more interest in it than others who find it hard to come to grips with its complex implications. Yet not many governments have so far taken seriously the papers written by such people as the Pentagon or the British Ministry of Defence, and incorporated into their strategic planning ... ".
Gaia and the human impact: Earth system science - Lecture to the Annual Conference of The Association for Science Education, University of Birmingham, 4 January 2007. "Change rarely proceeds in curves. It goes in steps and thresholds. Due perhaps to the shortness of our individual lives and our lack of imagination we tend to believe that what we know - the current diversity of life and the climate around us - will only change within narrow limits; and that if nature is allowed to take its course, things will revert to where they were. Unfortunately history gives no foundation for this belief ... "
Climate change: the need for a global response - speech to the Institute for Transatlantic, European & American Studies, Dundee University: 23 November 2006.
Environmental challenges facing the property industry - Keynote address to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors International Valuation Conference at the Institute of Civil Engineers, London, 15 November 2006.
Vulnerable Earth - The Robert C. Barnard Environmental Lecture 2006. Delivered to the AAAS, Washington DC, 18 September 2006. "Our whole being is within a wafer-thin atmosphere surrounding the surface of a planet as it turns in space at exactly the right distance from the Sun for life. We are tiny parts of a system of life whose complexity passes, and always will pass, human understanding ... "
The Chinese environment: hazards and prospects - A speech given to The China Association, 6 July 2006.
People and rainforests - speech to the International Rangers Federation 5th World Congress: People & Place: the natural connection. Stirling University,16 June 2006.
Climate change : the global challenge - address to the Second International Solar Cities Congress, Monday 3 April 2006, at the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford. The only serious question is how long is the long term, how much time have we got, and what should now be done before more damage is done to the global atmosphere and the society we have built on the surface of the Earth ...
Humans: past, present and future - Chancellor's Lecture at the University of Kent, Canterbury: Friday 27 January 2006.
The road to and from Kyoto (2) - Lecture to the South East Climate Change Partnership Annual Forum, the Langstone Hotel, Hayling Island, Hampshire. 7 July 2005.
Environmental protection, energy saving and standardization - An address to the Standardization Administration of China and the British Standards Institute "Environment in Policy-Making" conference; Beijing: 29 June 2005.
Pressures for change - an address to the Corporation of London and F & C Seminar on Good Corporate Governance and Responsible Ownership. The Guildhall, London, 22 June 2005.
L'environnement au bord du gouffre - Earth Champions : Athena Foundation. Lausanne : Dimanche 5 juin 2005 (French version).
Environment on the edge - Earth Champions: Athena Foundation. Lausanne: Sunday 5 June 2005 (English version).
Global energy mix - nuclear aspects - A presentation to the OECD Forum 2005: Fuelling the future: security, stability, development. Paris, 2 May 2005.
Climate change: warming, cooling, dimming and the consequences - Address to the Manchester Luncheon Club, Freemasons' Hall, Manchester, on 7 April 2005.
Development in an unstable world - Address to the Baring Foundation Seminar on Refugees and Displaced People, 20 January 2005.
Marine futures - Address to the Foresight Marine Panel Workshop on Future Marine Risks and Opportunities. The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology, 16 March 2005. "Oceans occupy over 70 percent of the surface of the Earth, and are in many respects less understood than the surface of the Moon. They are the source of all life, and in different ways all life depends on them. They are part of the single self-regulating system, comprised of physical, chemical, biological and even human elements, which makes up the Earth we know. In the most profound sense, their health is our health ... "
Sustainability: from the natural to the human world - Lecture in the Global Environmental Change Lecture Series, University of East Anglia. 22 February 2005. "There have been some 30 urban civilizations before our own. All eventually crashed. Why? The reasons range from damage to the environmental base on which they rested to the mounting costs in human, economic and organizational terms of maintaining them ... "
The ecological challenge in a global context - Lecture to Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona. Friday 18 February 2005.
The road to and from Kyoto (1) - Lecture at Merton College, Oxford. 11 February 2005. "Change usually takes place for three main reasons. First through leadership from above by institutions or individuals; secondly through public pressure from below; and thirdly - however regrettably - through some useful catastrophes to jerk us out of our inertia into more sensible courses."
Sustainability, global institutions and the human prospect - address to Address to the Millichap Peace Fund Quaker Group. Hereford, 3rd February 2005. "On the one hand we have the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank which are all institutions with real mechanisms for influencing government policy ... By contrast the 200 or more environmental agreements are dispersed and poorly coordinated, with different hierarchies of reference and accountability."
Are we pushing Gaia too hard? - The 46th Annual Bennett Lecture for the 50th Anniversary of Geology, University of Leicester, February 1 2005. "Gaia is a lady who has remained broadly the same underneath, but can wear many clothes for many weathers and many fashions. She has no particular tenderness for humans. "
Environment on the edge - The UNEP / World Conservation Monitoring Centre Lecture, 4 November 2004.
Sustainable development - Speech to the 5th Green China Forum. Beijing, 27 October 2004.
Catastrophes and global governance - Lecture to the Bristol Society. Bristol, 9 June 2004.
Ecology, Conservation and the Human Role - part of the Cambridge Distinguished Lecture Series. Peterhouse College, Cambridge, 5 May 2004.
Current Affairs and the UN Today - Speech to 6th formers, Westonbirt School, Tetbury, Gloucestershire, 30 April 2003.
Life sciences in a new climate - address to the 15th CABI Conference: New Approaches to a Changed World. Beijing, 22 April 2004.
Making growth sustainable - Notes for talk on Sustainable Development, State Environment Protection Agency. Beijing: 20 April 2004.
Climate change and the variety of life - a lecture delivered at the Botanical Gardens, Edinburgh, 14 April 2004, as part of the Edinburgh Science Festival. "the price of sticking to our present system of values and not adapting to new ones is intolerably high. So far all past urban civilizations - some 30 of them - have crashed. None over time learned how to reach a well-regulated steady state with population in balance with natural resources. There is no reason to believe that ours is any different. Indeed current signs are to the contrary ... ".
The ecological challenge in a global context - lecture for the M.Sc. in Responsibility & Business Practice Course, University of Bath. 2 March 2004.
The future of humanity - the Bodington Lecture, University of Leeds, 11 February 2004. "There have been some 30 urban civilizations over the last few thousand years. All eventually crashed. Why? The reasons range from damage to the environmental base on which they rested to the mounting costs in human, economic and organizational terms of maintaining them: in short their complexity ... ".
The impact of climate change on the economy - speech to the Woodhouse Group, University of Leeds, 10 February 2004. "It is notoriously difficult to distinguish natural from man made processes, but there is a growing consensus, expressed in successive reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that the human contribution is now having a significant if not decisive effect."
Sustainability: the way forward - Lecture to the Scottish Council Foundation, Ramsay Garden Seminar Series, Edinburgh, 15 January 2004. "George Bush senior tried to reassure the American people by saying that no-one was going to change the American way of life. Apparently George Bush junior thinks the same. They are both dead wrong. North Americans must change their way of life, as we in Europe must change ours."
Prospects for the United Nations after the Iraq war - "It is now around seven months since the official end of conventional hostilities in Iraq. Not unexpectedly a guerrilla war has followed. This is just one of the unfortunate effects of a war that was bad for multilateralism, bad for global governance and bad for the United Nations...". The Ada Benson Memorial Lecture, Oxford High School, 3 December 2003.
The United Nations, multilateralism and the environment - St Edmund's College Law Society Lecture, Cambridge. CT describes how the US's diplomatic blundering over the Iraq War and its rejection of international treaties and concensus-building has damaged the UN - but not fatally. "As for the role of the United Nations and its agencies in dealing with the major issues of sustainability, climate change and protection of the environment, there is simply no other place or institution capable of organizing and promoting planetary action."
International Governance for Sustainable Development - a talk to the OECD Ministerial Round Table on Sustainable Development, OECD: Paris.
Under the sun - a talk given to Watson International Scholars of the Environment at Brown University, USA, following the Johannesburg Summit. "Johannesburg was a meeting which in no way responded to the many threats facing the good health of the Earth as a whole. Nor did it suggest rational ways of coping with them..."
Johannesburg and its aftermath - lecture to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Near-Earth objects: risk, policies and actions - Notes for after-dinner talk to the OECD Global Science Forum workshop: Near-Earth objects: risk, policies and actions, Frascati 20 January 2003 .
Climate change and the Kyoto Protocol - Notes for a talk at Harvard University. "I remember that before the Rio Summit of 1992 George Bush senior tried to reassure the American people by saying that no-one was going to change the American way of life. He was dead wrong. North Americans must change their way of life, as we in Europe must change ours. Otherwise Nature will do what she has done to over 99% of species that have ever lived, and do the job for us."
The future: prospects, hazards and opportunities - lecture to the BAAS Annual Conference at the University of Leicester. "Implicit in much human thinking is the idea of progress; but it is wiser to talk about continuity of change. In terms of both human society and evolution generally, there are processes of improvement and degradation, of greater and lesser complexity, of new departures and endings, none with certain directions..."
Sustainability and conservation: prospects for Johannesburg - lecture to the Society for Conservation Biology Conference at the University of Kent at Canterbury, on the prospects for the [then] forthcoming Johannesburg Summit; 15 July 2002.
Climate change - why is the US approach different from that of the rest of the world? - a talk to the Annual Meeting of Marshall Scholars. Carpenters Hall, London, 13 May 2002.
Politics and freedom - notes for a speech to the Cheshire Pitt Club, Chester; 25 January 2002.
Governance and the United Nations - a talk for the First National Conference of Student Pugwash UK, Wadham College, Oxford. "During the last ten years the image of the United Nations has changed like a tragi-comedy mask. At one moment it is all smiles. Next it is a grimace..."
Catastrophes - the St Andrews Prize Lecture, Royal Institution, London. "It is well within our capabilities to improve prediction and take measures to mitigate catastrophes. Anything on a larger scale would require international effort and administrative skills which are at present lacking. Obviously human ability to cope would depend on the resilience and good health of society in general. A world riven by war and degradation could easily be overwhelmed. Much would depend on the abilities of individual governments to manage at least within the areas of their responsibility..."
Risks of conflict - resource and population pressures - Linacre Lecture, University of Oxford. "Looking ahead at the prospects for conflict, we seem to be in for a bumpy ride. Violence within and between communities and between nation states could well increase. The precedents are all around us. It would be naïve to expect otherwise, and we must be prepared for it..."
Catastrophes from space: prospects for planetary defence - "While the probability of being killed by an asteroid impact is comparable to that of being killed by an aircraft accident, the main difference is that aircraft accidents kill small numbers of people with high probability while asteroid impacts kill huge numbers of people with low probability ... ". Lecture to the AGM of the Royal Geographical Society.
El Nino and its significance - An evening discourse at the Royal Institution, London. "In this lecture I want to bring out the smallness and variable conditions in our living space and the enormous effects which even relatively minor and temporary changes can make in it. I want to look not only at the history and science of the El Nino phenomenon, but also at climate change in general and the vulnerability of all species, including our own, to such change, the more so at a time when human activity is seen to be accelerating it..."
The United Nations: pressures for change - a lecture to the Centro Argentino por Relaciones Internacionales, Buenos Aires. "After the ups and downs of the recent history of our two countries, it is heartening to see the blue helmets of Argentina and British troops together under the command of an Argentine general in Cyprus. The symbolism is almost too great for me. It reaches beyond Anglo-Argentine relations, beyond the problems of a divided island, and beyond peace keeping operations, all the way to the place of the United Nations itself in world affairs."