Debate 28 - Balance: Living within our means

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006 | Debates

In previous debates we have looked at how resources — oil, uranium and atmosphere — are finite (although we do not seem to have taken on board the fact that we don’t have the atmosphere to burn the oil that is left).

Cycling against oil wars

Cycling against oil wars

We have also looked at what needs to be done: the 60% cuts in CO2 emission targets still seem impossibly far away. Meanwhile, the goalposts have shifted and 90-100% cuts are now seen as being much more realistic.

When we started these energy debates last year the CO2 atmospheric content was 380 ppm. Now it is 381 ppm. The upper limit of 400 ppm, agreed at the 2005 Exeter Conference, is getting ever nearer and we still seem to be in denial.

This debate is about asking whether energy is the problem or is it our assumptions and expectations about growth. How can we achieve a new balance and live within our means?

The debate was chaired by Prof Peter Guthrie, Professor of Engineering, University of Cambridge.

Speak 1: Aubrey Meyer

Director of the Global Commons Institute

Speak 2: Lord Oxburgh

Former Chairman of Shell UK

Notes from the debate

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