November 6, 2017

Tipping point for planet Earth

Chaired by

Manuel Sobrinho Simões
Rivoli - Grande Auditório MO

Sixty million years ago, the Earth reached a turning point, when it was hit by a powerful force that drastically and abruptly altered living conditions on the planet, leading to the extinction of the dinosaurs. Today there are those who consider that human beings collectively constitute an equally powerful force, that has enormous potential for destruction. Are we walking into the abyss?

Elizabeth Hadly (1958, USA) has issued the warning: we are doomed to extinction. Professor of Environmental Biology at Stanford University, Hadly will talk about the terrifying future that awaits mankind unless we drastically change course. We have little more than 20 years to do so. There are signs that allow some optimism, such as advances in health or global growth of the economy. But there are many other signs that are cause for pessimism: scarcity of water and food resources, global population growth, climate change, mass migration. Since each of these problems constitutes a serious threat, their combination could result in a devastating situation. In 2013, Hadly wrote a document with 15 more scientists, subsequently endorsed by thousands of experts, providing scientific evidence of the current serious situation, specifying several measures that must be taken to save the planet. Its goal? To alert the political class that action must be taken now. Obama received the document, and seemed to have taken it into account. But what about Trump?

Simultaneous interpretation