Crispin Tickell Articles, essays, lectures and other writings
Book reviews Essays Interviews In the media Lectures Video
Biodiversity Climate change Climatic Change & World Affairs China Corporate governance Development Economics Gaia Global governance Population Religion, philosophy Space objects Sustainability The future

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Challenges to the human future: prospects and hazards - The Kennedy Lecture 2008. Delivered at the New Generation Society, York University, 31 January 2008.
Climate change and its implications - Address to the CPRE Oxfordshire Annual General Meeting 2013. Held in Wallingford, Oxon, 29 June 2013.
St Andrews Prize - commentary. After the award of the St Andrew's Prize for the Environment, May 10 2013. Video content, 1.07 minutes.
Vulnerable Earth: hits from space and other disasters - A lecture at the University of St Andrews, 2 May 2013.
The Human Future - Wrigley Lecture. Arizona State University, 11 April 2013. Video content, 61 minutes.
Climate change and conflict - Address for a Climate Change Workshop at Arizona State University at Tempe, 10 April 2013.
The human future - a lecture to the Areces Foundation Symposium on Lynn Margulis. Madrid, 12 / 13 November 2012.
The Tickell interactive climate network is operated by the Climate Institute in Washington DC. "The Tickell network aims to link climate science research, large-scale climate education and tools to empower the citizenry to understand global climate change and implement climate solutions. This rapidly growing Interactive Network, named for Sir Crispin Tickell, the Climate Institute's Chairman and an environmental hero in Mexico and UK, seeks to achieve widespread public education in climate science while inspiring the visitors to climate theatres at museums and educational parks to become climate problem solvers using their smart phones, laptops and desktops."
What is the biggest problem we face? - Sir Crispin Tickell discusses the threat of population growth on ExpertTV, 5 August 2012. Video content, 9.07 minutes.
Earth Champions! - Sir Crispin praises the Earth Champions initiative on ExpertTV, 1 August 2012. Video content, 1.40 minutes.
Our Energy Responsibilities - interviews Sir Crispin on energy and markets, 22 May 2012. Video content, 8.15 minutes.
Neandertal thoughts - A review of How to think like a Neandertal? by Thomas Wynn and Frederick L Coolidge Oxford University Press 2012: 210pp. Published in the Financial Times on 4 February 2012.
Out of the box and Into the future - A lecture to the Peterhouse Politics Society, Peterhouse College, Cambridge: 24 January 2012.
Resonant morphs - a review of The Science Delusion: Freeing the Spirit of Enquiry by Rupert Sheldrake. Coronet for Hodder & Stoughton. Published in the Financial Times on 7 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.
Climate change: the science and the politics - opinion piece published in The Times, 6 December 2010, during the run-up to the Cancun climate conference.
Societal responses to the Anthropocene - published in the Theme Issue of the Philosophical Transaction of the Royal Society, 13 March 2011: "The Anthropocene: a new epoch of geological time?". "The idea that humans could so transform the land surface, seas and atmosphere of the Earth to establish a new geological epoch in their own name is startling in itself, and would have amazed earlier generations. Yet, since the beginning of the industrial revolution some 250 years ago, humans have profoundly affected the Earth and all life on it. The consequences are becoming more evident every day, but in the longer term remain almost unknowable ... "
Gaia or Medea? The choice is ours - a review of Here On Earth: A New Beginning by Tim Flannery: Allen Lane, 2011: 316 pp., £14.99. Published in the Financial Times, Saturday 5 March 2011.
Humans: a reflection - an address to a private gathering, 19 January 2011.
Natural disasters through the ages - a lecture given as part of the Mary Anning Weekend at Lyme Regis, 24 October 2010. "We tend to classify most sudden change as disastrous ... But without disasters we would not be here. The history of living organisms, so far as we know it from the fossil evidence, shows a pattern of relative evolutionary stability, punctuated by relatively sudden departures of some species and the arrivals of others. Few ecosystems or species last more than a few million years. Extinctions are an essential element in evolution."
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 ... "
Keeping the lights on (Part 1) - lecture to the CPRE Protect Kent Energy Conference, Pines Calyx, 17 May 2010. Video Content, 10 minutes.
Keeping the lights on (Part 2) - lecture to the CPRE Protect Kent Energy Conference, Pines Calyx, 17 May 2010. Video Content, 10 minutes.
Keeping the lights on (Part 3) - lecture to the CPRE Protect Kent Energy Conference, Pines Calyx, 17 May 2010. Video Content, 6.40 minutes.
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.
Real Farming Conference - Crispin Tickell opens the Real Farming conference, Oxford, 15 January 2010. Video content, 8 minutes.
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 ... "
Conversations with Green Gurus - Sir Crispin is interviewed for this influential series of interviews, 21 December 2010. Video content, 9.45 minutes.
Mexico and Latin American Climate Protection Programs operated by the Climate Institute. These include the Sir Crispin Tickell Climate Observatory, the world's highest climate observatory (15,000 ft/4500 m) atop Sierra Negra in Pico de Orizaba National Park in the State of Puebla; the Tickell Observatory Education and Outreach Center in Flor del Bosque, an environmental education park in Puebla; and the Tickell Interactive Network of education and outreach centers.
Conversations with Green Gurus -- introduction. - Promo film for the book of the same name on Youtube. "The collected wisdom of some of the world's most influential environmental movers and shakers is brought together in this one book. Interviewees include energy guru Amory Lovins, former Friends of the Earth Vice Chair Tony Juniper, diplomat Sir Crispin Tickell and business leader Ray Anderson, among others. The end result is an illuminating insight into both general views on sustainability as well as good and bad business decisions made in the search for sustainability. Video content, 3.52 minutes.
The challenge is clearer than ever - the response has yet to come - A review of The Economics and Politics of Climate Change, edited by Dieter Helm and Cameron Hepburn. Oxford University Press 2009 538 pp. Published in the Financial Times 28 November 2009.
Sustainability in China: attitudes past, present and future - Address to the Royal Society for Asian Affairs, at the Naval and Military Club, St James's Square, 23 November 2009.
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 ... "
Environment and the Muslim Heritage - notes for speech to the Muslim Heritage Awareness Group of the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilization. The Royal Society, 14 July 2009.
Carbon trading and cash values on forests cannot curb carbon emissions - Oscar Reyes argues that climate change solutions cannot be created by unfettered markets, despite what business leaders think, The Guardian, Thursday 28 May 2009. "When Sir Crispin Tickell had the temerity to suggest that 'the business community needs to re-examine the fundamentals of economics' at the recent World Business Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen, his discordant tone was drowned out by a chorus of more than 800 delegates singing the praises of unfettered markets as a means to tackle climate change ... "
Conversations with Green Gurus - the book by Laura Mazur and Louella Miles. This book contains interviews with 15 key environmental thinkers including Sir Crispin Tickell, and represents, say the publishers "the collective wisdom of some of the most influential environmental movers and shakers of our time".
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.
Challenges to the Human Future (Questions 1) - prospects and hazards. The 2008 Kennedy Lecture, delivered 31 January 2008. Video content, 9 minutes.
Challenges to the Human Future (Questions 2) - prospects and hazards. The 2008 Kennedy Lecture, delivered 31 January 2008. Video content, 8.55 minutes.
Challenges to the Human Future (Questions 3) - prospects and hazards. The 2008 Kennedy Lecture, delivered 31 January 2008. Video content, 8.53 minutes.
Challenges to the Human Future (Part 3) - prospects and hazards. The 2008 Kennedy Lecture, delivered 31 January 2008. Video content, 7.09 minutes
Challenges to the Human Future (Part 1) - prospects and hazards. The 2008 Kennedy Lecture, delivered 31 January 2008. Video content, 9 minutes.
Challenges to the Human Future (Part 2) - prospects and hazards. The 2008 Kennedy Lecture, delivered 31 January 2008. Video content, 9 minutes.
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.
World′s highest climate observatory to be named for Sir Crispin Tickell - lead article in Climate Alert winter 2008, published by the Climate Institute (HTML version). "On September 24, 2007 the Climate Institute announced that it is naming for Sir Crispin Tickell a new High Altitude Climate Observatory in Pico de Orizaba National Park. The Tickell Climate Center will be the first high altitide climate observatory in Mexico and the highest of its kind in the world. ... "
World′s highest climate observatory to be named for Sir Crispin Tickell - lead article in Climate Alert winter 2008, published by the Climate Institute (.pdf version). It reports: "On September 24, 2007 the Climate Institute announced that it is naming for Sir Crispin Tickell a new High Altitude Climate Observatory in Pico de Orizaba National Park. The Tickell Climate Center will be the first high altitide climate observatory in Mexico and the highest of its kind in the world ... ". Note: This links to the entire Climate Alert issue as .pdf file.
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.
Curriculum Vitae as of July 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 ... "
Better next time - Review of The Meaning of the 21st Century - a vital blueprint for ensuring our future, by James Martin. Published 26 January 2007 in the Times Literary Supplement.
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.
A peculiar honour - on the re-naming of minor planet "5971 Tickell" in recognition of Sir Crispin's work on the UK Government Task Force on Potentially Hazardous Near Earth Objects.
The Policy Foresight Programme of the James Martin Institute at Oxford University takes over the former Green College Centre for Environmental Policy and Understanding, with Crispin Tickell as its director. The Press Release.
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 ... "
Clean, Green Growth in China - Sir Crispin is interviewed on Big Picture TV, 9 March 2005. "He describes how the Chinese government has been experimenting with new measurements of economic wealth in terms of well-being. He believes the international community would do well to look to China for inspiration in this field. He closes by drawing attention to the hypocrisy of free trade as practiced by leaders in the West.". Video content, 4.23 minutes.
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. "
World 'will act on climate gases' - BBC online report by Alex Kirby of CT's UNEP / World Conservation Monitoring Centre Lecture, 4 November 2004, Cambridge. "Sucking up to car drivers or calling for new airports does not suggest that all politicians have yet understood what is at stake ... ".
Environment on the edge - The UNEP / World Conservation Monitoring Centre Lecture, 4 November 2004.
Backwards in time - review of The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Life, by Richard Dawkins (September 2004). Published in The Literary Review, November 2004.
Sustainable development - Speech to the 5th Green China Forum. Beijing, 27 October 2004.
Darkness and light - book review: Acquainted With the Night: excursions through the world after dark by Christopher Dewdney. Published in the Financial Times, 2 October 2004.
Earth beware: climate change, sustainability, and the human prospect - Lecture to the Department of Earth Sciences' "Earth Aware" Conference. The Open University, 15 September 2004.
Pity the poor elephants! - book review: The Retreat of the Elephants: An Environmental History of China by Mark Elvin. Yale University Press: 2004. Published in Nature, 29 July 2004.
The need for international rules - a lecture to the Royal United Services Institute for Defence & Security Studies, Whitehall, London; 6 July 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.
'Tide of feeling' unleashed on Iraq - article for BBC News Online by Alex Kirby, 27 April, 2004.
I have never seen such despair among diplomats - opinion article in The Independent (London), 27 April 2004, following release of the Diplomats' Letter to Tony Blair, constructed from interview with Crispin Tickell.
Letter to Tony Blair signed by 50 former ambassadors and senior envoys including Crispin Tickell, calling on Mr Blair to change his "doomed" policies on the Middle East. 26 April 2004
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.
He's saving the Planet - Profile of Crispin Tickell by Tom Mallens. Published in the Gloucestershire Echo on 17 April 2004.
Provoke the beast and create a very nasty atmosphere - Book review: The Discovery of Global Warming, by Spencer R. Weart. Published in the Times Higher Education Supplement, 16 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 ... ".
Belief - interview with Crispin Tickell by Joan Bakewell for the Belief programme, BBC Radio 3. Broadcast on 7 April 2004.
A step in time - review of The Earth: An Intimate History by Richard Fortey. Published in the Financial Times, 6 March 2004.
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.
Imagine... - a review of The Age of Consent: A Manifesto for a New World Order, by George Monbiot. Published in the Financial Times, August 23 2003. "This book is a polemic as well as a manifesto. It is an omelet of curate's eggs, some very good, some less good, all strong tasting and well presented. It should make people think; and as the author well says, if we do not like his ideas, then think of better ones. He believes that leaving things as they are is not a serious option. He makes his case."
A darker future for our pale blue dot - a review of Our Final Century, by Martin Rees. Published in the Times Higher Education Supplement, 22 August 2003. "It was the first astronauts who saw the world, as Carl Sagan expressed it, as 'a pale blue dot' in the vastness of the universe. We need to remind ourselves every day that its care, and that of the people on it, now and to come, must be our absolute priority ... "
The no-win madness of catch-22 subsidies - an analysis of the $2 trillion a year paid by taxpayers in perverse subsidies that defy economic rationality and cause immense human and environmental harm. Co written with Norman Myers. Published in the Financial Times, 28 July 2003. "The OECD countries account for two thirds of perverse subsidies, and the United States over one fifth. A typical British taxpayer pays at least 1,000 a year to fund perverse subsidies, then pays another 500 through increased prices for consumer goods and through environmental degradation... "
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."
Water: the big issue for the 21st Century - a talk to the Oxford International Biomedical Centre, Magdalen College School, Oxford. 2003-03-31
International Governance for Sustainable Development - a talk to the OECD Ministerial Round Table on Sustainable Development, OECD: Paris.
Wholeness - Preface to Keeping Things Whole - Readings in Environmental Science: 21 selections from key thinkers in the natural sciences, social sciences, literature and philosophy. Published by The Great Books Foundation, Chicago, USA, March 2003. "In spite of recent increases in understanding, environmental science is still in its infancy, not least because so many of the interconnections between biological and physical processes have yet to be put together. Interdisciplinarity is never easy, but never more necessary. This book is a real contribution towards it ... "
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."
Religion and the environment - Lecture delivered to 'The Earth our Destiny' conference, Portsmouth Cathedral. "Environment is the stuff of religion, and religion is the stuff of the environment. Their relationship once went without saying. Yet we live at a time when they are being prised apart ... "
China faces up to environmental challenges - article for BBC News Online by Alex Kirby, 20 November 2002.
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..."
Communicating Climate Change - Published in Science Volume 297, Number 5582, Issue of 2 Aug 2002. " I remember the editor of a leading British broadsheet dismissing climate change as yesterday's story. News has to have a beginning and an end, and often has to be artificially polarized. A process that occurs over years or centuries is hard to report on very often. Moreover, the story carries uncomfortable implications... "
'Poor prospects' for Earth Summit - article for BBC News Online by Alex Kirby, 15 July 2002.
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.
Whither the future - review of "The Future of Life" by Edward O Wilson, and "Future Evolution - an illuminated history of life to come" by Peter Ward. Financial Times.
Scientists and Gaia - "The Gaia hypothesis is a human observation about the relationship between life and its physical environment work on the surface of the Earth. It at once a very old idea and a very new one. What was first a kind of analogy has now become an integrative factor in modern science." For the Financial Times.
Redesigning humans - review of "Redesigning humans - Choosing our Children's Genes", by Gregory Stock. "Whether the technology required is ten years or more away or will ever exist, there can be little doubt that in spite of all the hazards and complexities, it is moving in that direction. Even if it were banned in one country, it would probably be developed in another..."
Homage to Gaia - review of "Homage to Gaia", by James Lovelock. "Lovelock's autobiography brings out his single most important characteristic as a scientist: his refusal to accept dogmas in small things or in big, or to establish dogmas of his own..."
Hidden connections a review of "The Hidden Connections - Integrating the Biological, Cognitive, and Social Dimensions of Life into a Science of Sustainability", by Fritjof Capra. Financial Times.
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..."
US facing climate isolation - article by Alex Kirby for BBC News Online, 29 March 2001.
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 nave 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.
Mao's war against nature - review of Politics and the Environment in Revolutionary China, by Judith Shapiro. "Mao believed that what had worked for other industrial countries should work for China. He ignored the consequences of over-extraction of resources, air, land and water pollution, erosion of hill sides, flooding and salinization of irrigated areas, reclamation that led to desertification, and all the other ills of unsustainable human activity..."
Human frontiers, environments and disease - review of "Human frontiers, environments and disease", by Tony McMichael. Financial Times.
Something new under the sun - review of Something New Under the Sun - An Environmental History of the Twentieth Century, by John McNeill. "For once there is something new under the sun. Up to now there has been a precedent for most things: population explosions of particular plants or animals; periodical extinctions; changes in soil fertility; rapid global cooling and rapid global warming; even impacts of objects from outer space. But in the history of life ... there has been nothing like the impact of one animal species - our own - on the condition of the earth, and most of it within a single century ... "
Science, public policy and climate change - Interview with Sir Crispin Tickell by Barbara Geary of Rolex. "If the US persists in being the world's biggest polluter, then the rest of the world will have to consider introducing measures such as taxing US exports to compensate for the lack of a national emissions tax in the United States. "
The future of governance - lecture delivered to Forum for the Future's "Humanity 3000" Symposium in Seattle.
Visions of the 21st Century - a view to the future at the turn of the Millennium. "In so far as we can peer a hundred years ahead, we can wish our successors well, and hope that they will enjoy more of an equilibrium than is possible in our own unsustainable and crowded but creative society... I suspect that they will look back on us as a messy, short-sighted, wasteful, crude, and aggressive lot. Let us hope they are not the same."
Economics for the Earth - review of "Eco-economy: Building an Economy for the Earth" by Lester R Brown, and "Human well-being and the natural environment" by Partha Dasgupta.
A tract for our times - review of Edward O Wilson's "Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge".
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."
The Earth Summit - Speech to the European Atlantic Group about the [then] recently concluded conference. "The most fundamental problem is unsustainable consumption of the Earth's resources, principally by and in industrial countries. In others the problem, exacerbated by population increase, is pressure on resources. We are a long way from measuring the consequences. They were seen very differently by the participants at Rio. On one side the industrial countries comforted themselves with the belief that environmental degradation was essentially a problem of the poor"
The Opening page of Climatic Change and World Affairs (second edition), by Crispin Tickell, including Figure 1.
The Cover of Climatic Change and World Affairs (second edition), by Crispin Tickell.
Foreword to Climatic Change and World Affairs (second edition, 1986, by Crispin Tickell), by Professor Paul Doty.
Foreword to British editon - of Climatic Change and World Affairs (second edition, 1986, by Crispin Tickell), by Lord Zuckerman.
Introduction to Climatic Change and World Affairs (second edition, 1986).
The causes of climate change - Chapter 1 of Climatic Change and World Affairs (second edition, 1986).
The human response to change - Chapter 2 of Climatic Change and World Affairs (second edition, 1986).
A call for action - Chapter 3 of Climatic Change and World Affairs (second edition, 1986).
Notes & suggested reading - for Climate Change & World Affairs (second edition, 1986).

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