Climate Change and the End of Exponential Growth

By Gareth Renowden 12/10/2011


An intriguing title for what promises to be an interesting seminar in Wellington later this month. Pieter Tans of NOAA’s Earth Systems Research Lab in Boulder — a carbon cycle specialist and winner of the Roger Revelle Medal at the 2010 Fall AGU — will be the guest of the NZ Climate Change Research Institute. Here’s a flavour of what he’ll be talking about:

Man-made climate change is a clear manifestation that we have reached limits of resource consumption by our species, and that continuing business‐as‐usual has a substantial chance of destroying civilization. It is also likely that fossil fuel resources will not remain cheap for much longer, with high energy prices becoming an impediment to development. Vigorous policies to decrease our dependence on fossil fuels are necessary to continue enabling development and to safeguard it by reducing the risk of catastrophic climate change.

Tans’ talk is scheduled for Wednesday 26 October at 6:00 pm in Lecture Theatre 1, Old Government Buildings. I’d be there, if I were in Wellington. I’m not, so I’d welcome first hand reports. For more information, contact Liz Thomas at the CCRI.