POINTS OF VIEW:
Thomas Friedman, author of Hot, Flat and Crowded
The big issue on the planet is not just the fact that we’re going from 6.7 billion people today to 9.2 billion. It’s the number of people living an American lifestyle, eating American-sized Big Macs, living in American-sized houses, driving American-sized cars, on American-sized highways.
Thomas Homer-Dixon, University of Waterloo
You have to think of environmental stress as kind of an underlying pressure, an almost tectonic stress within the society that increases the likelihood of violence but doesn’t necessarily cause it by itself. It has to come with other things such as weak governments, availability of weapons, and also deep ethnic cleavages within a society that can make violence more likely. And then all of a sudden, you get a dramatic outbreak of riots in the streets.
Steve Osofsky, Wildlife Conservation Society
In the face of poverty people will tend to utilize whatever they can to survive. Our job as conservationists is to try and create an environment where sustainable management is possible, where people can see things from a larger scale and learn how to manage things not just at the household level but work collaboratively to manage things at a landscape level.
Helen Gayle, Care USA
If you educate a girl she is more likely to marry later, have fewer children, and her children are more likely to get an education. And so you really create a virtuous cycle that starts by changing the life of a girl who becomes a woman and having an impact on whole communities.
Bruce Babbitt, Former Secretary of the Interior.
I’m really encouraged by the fact that when I go to my hometown in Arizona — a small town of 50,000 people — candidates for local office are debating climate change. They are asking and taking positions now as to what should be done in county government to move toward alternative energy. Those debates are happening everywhere clear down to the grassroots in a wonderfully positive way that will yield national change.
Lester Brown, author of Plan B: Mobilizing To Save Civilization
These are the questions we’re facing as a civilization. And my final point would be this — saving civilization is not a spectator sport. We all need to get involved