FSE director Roz Naylor discussant in three panels at the 2011 Aspen Environment Forum, a conference sponsored by the Aspen Institute and National Geographic. Follow the conference on Twitter, @AspenInstitute and @NatGeoGreen, or via #aef2011. National Geographic will be posting daily blogs on ngm.com/aspen.
Tuesday, May 31:
Population boomed in the 20th century mostly because public health and sanitation measures saved lives—but keeping those people alive and enriching many of them required an unprecedented boom in our ability to extract resources from the Earth. The debate about “peak oil” has loomed over us for decades, but other mineral resources may be nearing peaks as well. Platinum and other metals, phosphate for fertilizer, and just plain dirt—that is, fertile topsoil—have all been mentioned as approaching scarcity. Which of these resources is likely to become a real constraint on human development, and how soon?
Discussants: Marcia McNutt, Daniel Kammen, Roz Naylor, Andrew Revkin
Moderator: Elliot Gerson
Can Science Feed the World?
Growing enough food in decades ahead at an acceptable cost to the planet will depend on research into everything from high-tech seeds to low-tech farming practices. Scientists increasingly see a critical role for “sustainable intensification,” an approach to producing more food from the same land with fewer inputs of energy and water, and at the same time reducing the negative environmental impacts that already occur. Where is this happening now and what can be learned from our attempts, and how can this be achieved at larger scale?
Discussants: Jerry Glover, Roz Naylor, Paul E. Schickler
Moderator: Tim Appenzeller
Wednesday, June 1:
The Revolution We Need in Food Security and Population
The second global food crisis in three years is upon us – with bad weather, poor harvests and political turmoil sending food prices soaring to all-time highs. At the same time, the planet’s population is set to surpass seven billion this year, with most of the growth occurring in countries least equipped to meet the rising demands on agriculture and the environment. Experts predict that global food production must increase by 70 percent by mid-century to keep pace with current rates of growth. Join experts and policymakers for a discussion on these trends and the policies and programs needed to create lasting development and food security, including meeting the reproductive health needs of the growing world population.
Introduction: Dennis Dimick
Discussants: Dan Glickman, Roger-Mark De Souza, Roz Naylor, John Foley
Moderator: Elliot Gerson