What do you think about about the progress
or lack of progress since Rio?
How do you feel about the European
Union's response to all these challenges?
What about the trade and corporate
aspects? The corporations want voluntary standards and agreements.
Do you think that would work, or do you think legislation is required?
How can we address the huge challenge
of making our cities more sustainable? Half the world now lives
in cities, and mega-cities like Berlin, Mexico City or Sao Paolo
have huge ecological footprints and are very unsustainable. Is there
real hope that we can contract that footprint?
We're still spending astronomical levels
of money on defence, and the military people in the United States
and other countries don't seem to understand the real eco-social
threats to our security. We - the global taxpayers - are making
the weapons industry extremely wealthy when a fraction of that money
would solve most of the underlying environmental, economic and social
threats that lead to wars in the first place. How do you think we
can address this problem? Do you see any signs that military people
are beginning to re-define security?
What about the Hydrogen transition?
Amory Lovins said that the stone age didn't end because the world
ran out of stones, it ended because we discovered metal. Many people
now see hydrogen fuel cells as the feasible alternative to petroleum
and the combustion engine. Do you think that will happen?
Climate change, and the rate
of change of climate change: there is some possibility that the
melting Arctic icecap may divert the Gulf stream away from Northern
Europe, making Ireland and the UK snowbound for most of the year.
What do IUCN scientists feel about this? How urgent is the threat?
Do we know anything much about it?
What about corporate social and environmental
responsibility? Most of the big corporations are doing very visible
things on this front. In your view, how much of that is greenwash
and how much is sincere? And also, to what extent can individual
corporations or industries make the changes unless everybody in
the same industry goes along?
To come back to the security issue:
we are now seeing the biggest migration in human history, from the
countryside to the cities. In many countries, the economic conditions
set by the WTO and other groups are making it more and more difficult
for people to subsist on the land. If this trend continues, don't
you think it will exacerbate the social unrest, fundamentalist reactions
and terrorist backlash? Is there a way to reverse the urbanising
In the last ten to fifteen years we've
seen the very successful ability of the Neo-liberal market ideas
to propagate themselves and become accepted by every government,
pretty much, in the world. I look at the sustainability challenge
in terms of communication: we have incredible opportunities - new
technologies, ideas, solutions, networks, organisations - and yet
we don't seem to have been able get our message across. How can
we do it? What are we not doing yet that we need to do to communicate
Do you think that the environmental
and sustainable development organisations can take steps to communicate
their message more effectively than we are doing at the moment?