by Ian T Dunlop International Conferenceon the Future of Energy and the Interconnected Challenges of the 21st Century: Basel. October 17-18, 2011
As population rises from 7 billion today toward 9 billion by 2050, the inevitable logic of exponential growth in both population and consumption is now hitting the limits of global ecosystems and resource availability. The immediate pressure points are climate change, energy security, biodiversity loss, water and food availability, issues which are converging rapidly in an unprecedented manner, in the process contributing substantially to current financial instability… Climate change is arguably the most intractable of these issues, due to its complexity, inherent uncertainties and the inertia of the climatic system. However, there is now unprecedented evidence that human carbon emissions from fossil-fuel consumption and land degradation are, on the balance of probabilities, warming the planet at an accelerating rate… The implications for energy are diabolical. Changes to the energy system take decades to implement, but fossil-fuel emissions must be cut rapidly and there is no sign that sequestration methods, such as carbon capture and storage, will contribute to a solution either at the scale, or in the time, now required.