Elizabeth May and Monbiot debate Lomborg and Lord Lawson

Munk Debates logoElizabeth May and George Monbiot debate Bjørn Lomborg and Lord Nigel Lawson on the importance of climate change.

Be it resolved: Climate change is mankind’s defining crisis, and demands a commensurate response.

There’s already a lot of interesting material supporting both sides of the debate online at the Munk Debates site.

The Munk Debate: Climage Change
2009 December 1, 6:45 pm – 9:00 pm
The Royal Conservatory, 273 Bloor St West

Tickets are already sold out, but there will be a number of satellite events with simulcast video.  Buy your tickets for the live simulcasts online from the Munk website.  Or, watch it live online — right here — starting at 7 pm EST, Tuesday, December 1.

The debate and its live stream are passed.  You can replay the whole debate on the Munk Debates website.

[You can also read correspondence between debate host Rudyard Griffiths and Toronto-Danforth candidate Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu about tar sands and population/immigration.]

4 responses to “Elizabeth May and Monbiot debate Lomborg and Lord Lawson”

  1. Nyssa McLeod writes:

    The debate will be aired LIVE on CBC radio (details to follow in coming weeks) and the debate will be video streamed LIVE from our Green Party of Canada website so please mark your calendars and tune in!

  2. Hugh Jones writes:

    We get roughly 10 units of usable energy for an investment of one unit when we invest in fossil fuel. On this basis we have raised the world population from the reasonable number existing in 1800 (1 Bn) to more than six times this number. If an alternate source of power only yields 2 units for an investment of one then we can only support a population of say 2 Bn.

  3. Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu writes:

    You’re right Hugh, and this is very much a concern of mine, because fossil fuels aren’t only dangerous, they’re also finite. So whether we do it today, a decade from now or two decades from now (which is as optimistic as the rosiest projections from the oil industry get), within most of our lifetimes we’re going to need to figure out a way to support humanity on alternate energy sources as fossil fuels begin their relentless decline. And the longer we wait, the fewer our choices will be.

    The good news, ironically, is that we are tremendously wasteful of our energy now. The vast bulk of the energy we release from fossil fuels is simply emitted as waste heat. We generate electricity at 33% efficiency, then we lose 7% of that in transmission and use it to power up wasteful appliances or to heat leaky homes and watch our energy go up in smoke. We drive vehicles that use only 15% of the energy released from the gas in the tank, and turn the rest into so much hot air. And even the “useful” 15% is most often used to move two tonnes of steel and rubber in order to package a single occupant between home and work, which are located a ludicrous distance apart.

    So as we make that important and urgent transition, learning to be efficient and economical in our energy use is going to help us, even if our energy sources aren’t as robust. We can live quite comfortably on less. But that won’t necessarily be an option when we’ve maximized our efficiency with fossil fuel use and get to the point that we’re running out anyway.

  4. Hugh Jones writes:

    You’re not listening Adriana. The technological improvements are on their way from the very small group of technically competent people (in which group I feel I qualify). The crucial item which requires a complete change of thinking by everyone is the end of the expansion of the human population and the slow retreat to a population that allows for other life forms and for abundance for all. One man changed the thinking in one country, we must talk it up all over the World. (ref. From Condoms To Cabbages by Thomas D’Agnes)

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