Tonight Reason Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey will be debating in midtown Manhattan, courtesy of The New York Salon!
The Human Footprint—has civilization gone too far?
Tuesday February 13, 2007
Theresa Lang Center, The New School,
55 West 13th Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10011
Advance tickets $5 from
The New School box office 212-229-5488
Increasingly we are being warned about doomsday scenarios. Whether it is the depletion of fossil fuels or the rising water levels due to melting of the polar caps, the tenor of the discussion is alarmist. James Lovelock, author of Revenge of Gaia warns us of approaching Armageddon-like destruction if we continue to live the way we do and there are a host of commentators who deplore the idea of progress and development, suggesting that if China and India continue on the path that America and Europe pursued the end will be nigh.
From Hurricane Katrina to the 2004 Tsunami we are continually told by serious commentators that we are experiencing 'nature's revenge.' Human hubris is sited as reason for what were once seen as natural disasters that happened from time to time. We are told to switch off our lights, recycle our garbage and try not to have too damaging an impact and 'footprint' on the world.
Are we really facing such a calamity? What is the role of rational enquiry and science in the debate about the environment? Why does it seem like the debate is often infused with panic and urgency? Should we demand a more sober reflection or are we up against the clock? How is it that we have come to perceive ourselves as the biggest threat to our existence, rather than a solution provider and innovator?
Joining Ron in debate will be Corey Powell, executive editor of Discover magazine; Austin Williams, director of the Future Cities Project; and Martin I. Hoffert, Professor Emeritus of Physics and former Chair of the Department of Applied Science at New York University. The panel will be moderated by Alan Miller, director of The NY Salon.
For more info, go here.