Last June, Professor John Beddington spoke at the Cheltenham Science Festival - fairly soon after taking up his appointment as the Government's chief scientific advisor. I mentioned his talk in one of my early blogposts. Last night he was back in his birth county, addressing a surprisingly sparse audience at the Oxstalls Campus of the University of Gloucestershire. His theme was The Challenge of Global Sustainability. It was a stimulating hour.
Professor Beddington listed the threats, and how they would grow over the coming 21 years - that is, by 2030. By then, the Arctic would be ice-free every Summer, and the world will need 50% more food, 50% more energy and 30% more water. A frightening prospect. His comfort? We can commission more nuclear power stations and look forward to fusion; and we can embrace GM foods. Bad news for many then.