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Environment and Society Forum

A perfect storm ahead

17 February 2011

According to UK government Chief Scientist Sir John Beddington, by 2030 a ‘perfect storm’ that combines food, water and energy shortages will unleash public unrest and international conflict (Read More - Article (PDF), and Speech at SDUK2009)

Over 250 delegates attended this day-long seminar.

Programme and Presentations

  • Speaker biographies (PDF).

    9.45am: Introduction

    • Dr Rita Gardner, Director, Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
    • Morning Chair: Professor Sir Gordon Conway, Chair in International Development, Imperial College

    9.50am: Session one - Background

    • Climate change context: Professor Julia Slingo, Chief Scientist, Met Office Presentation (PDF)
    • Research background: Professor Andrew Watkinson, Director Living With Environmental Change (LWEC) and University of East Anglia Presentation (PDF)

    10.30am-11.10am: Session two - Keynote speaker

    Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (DECC). A full transcript of the speech is now available from the Department website.

    The Department has also posted two photos from the event on its Flickr stream image one and image two.

    Details of media coverage from the event can be found on our Society Delicious bookmarking pages (and below).

    11.40am-12.40pm: Session three - Security challenges from the 'Perfect Storm'

    • Water: Professor Nigel Arnell, Director Walker Institute, University of Reading Presentation (PDF)
    • Food: Dr David Buffin, Centre for Food Policy, City University London Presentation (PDF)
    • Energy: Mike Bradshaw, Professor of Human Geography, University of Leicester Presentation Presentation (PDF)

    1.30pm Introduction to afternoon

    • Afternoon chair: Mike Bradshaw, Professor of Human Geography, University of Leicester

    1.35pm-2.40pm: Session four - Geographical understanding: case studies

    • The heart of Borneo – land use options: Dr Glyn Davies, Director of Programmes, WWF-UK Presentation (PDF)
    • Changes in UK Land Use: Professor Carys Swanwick, Department of Landscape, University of Sheffield Presentation (PDF)
    • Cities and housing: Professor Harriet Bulkeley, Chair of Geography, Energy, and Environment at the Department of Geography, and Deputy Director of the Durham Energy Institute, Durham University Presentation (PDF)

    3.00pm: Session five - Discussion: weathering the storm

    • Rob Hopkins, Co-Founder of Transition Towns Totnes and Transition Network Presentation (PDF)
    • Mike Barry, Head of Sustainable Business, Marks and Spencer [Discussion only]
    • Questions and discussion

    4.00pm Closing statement

    • Afternoon chair: Professor Mike Bradshaw, University of Leicester

    4.00pm-5.00pm: Reception

    Media coverage of the 'Perfect Storm Ahead'

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