Big World Small Planet
Last evening we marked the launch of the book “Big World Small Planet” by Professor Johan Rockström and Dr Mattias Klum. This is a great narrative of world growth within Earth’s limits that really opens our eyes. It shows that the crisis is global and urgent. It shows that there are things we can do to turn things around, but we have to respect planetary boundaries and do first things first.
Johan Rockström is one of the world’s leading international scientists on global sustainability. He is Executive Director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre as well as a scientific adviser to several leading environmental institutions and to the United Nations.Mattias Klum is a renowned photographer and filmmaker, known for portraying natural environments, endangered species and ethnic minorities around the world. He has contributed several articles and cover images for National Geographic Magazine.
It is not difficult to understand why we need a new relationship with nature. The Arctic ice is melting at an alarming rate. California is experiencing one of the most severe droughts in history and earlier this year heavy floods in Indonesia displaced thousands of people. Many other places across the world are experiencing extreme weather as a direct consequence of climate change.
This year is pivotal for global action on climate change and hopefully all the major advances of 2014 have set the stage for success at the end of this year. In December world leaders are expected to reach a landmark agreement on climate change in Paris. This is an historic opportunity to shape the future of the planet that we must take.
I was very grateful to Mattias and Johan presenting their book and explaining the challenges ahead. It was one of the best presentations that I have heard on global warming. It was inspirational, but also rather frightening. We need a significant change in attitudes among the general public in combination with political leadership if we are to succeed in reshaping our relationship with nature.