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Five challenges for saving the planet


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Contributor(s): Lord Nicholas Stern

Released on 15 June 2009.

Being green is often seen as a form of modern Puritanism: environmental degradation is the price we have paid for our luxurious lives, and frugality and discomfort is the debt we must pay for planetary survival. But LSE's Lord Nicholas Stern is more optimistic. He explains how we can both manage climate change and also usher in a new era of global prosperity in this short film. Lord Stern's blueprint for managing climate change. Proper management of climate change could create a new era of global economic prosperity rather than herald an inevitable age of frugality according to Lord Nicholas Stern, Chair of LSE's Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. This is because our future economic success is inextricably entwined with the continued health of the planet. Lord Stern argues that not only is our reckless attitude environmentally unsustainable, but economically unstable to boot. But this economics driven approach is not without its critics. For example James Lovelock, the well-known scientist and environmentalist, fears current measures to tackle climate change are too little too late, and sees schemes like "carbon trading" as corporate pacifiers. In this film, Lord Stern addresses five challenges that lie ahead: 1. How can we solve the overpopulation problem? 2. Doesn't an economic motive relegate environmental concerns to a mere stepping-stone on the way to wealth? 3. How much can we invest our hopes in technology? 4. What can we do, and what is required to actually make this work? 5. Will the need to focus attention on the environment divert resources away from improving living conditions for people in the developing world?

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