The elephant in the warming room: food & climate

Food security expert David Lobell takes us around the world to give us a taste of the global food production system.  He discusses the wide range of problems our changing climate will have on agriculture and the prospects for creating a sustainable food system in the future.  And whenever you’re a visible figure and dealing with sensitive issues like food and climate change, there’s always a chance you end up getting hate mail… at 7am.

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Emerging infectious disease in the Anthropocene

Biological anthropologist James Holland Jones explains how diseases typically spread from animal to human populations and how that might change as our planet continues to warm.  He also discusses how we might prevent future epidemics with limited vaccines by looking to community structure and identifying the key bridge populations.  Without getting too apocalyptic… ok fine, getting a little apocalyptic… Jones also looks to diseases of the past to pick the one that is most likely to be a serious problem in the future, hemorrhagic fever hopefully not included.  Hypochondriacs beware, it’s all infectious disease on this episode of Generation Anthropocene!

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Sustainability and the Green Revolution

Agroecologist and Dean of Stanford University’s school of earth sciences Pam Matson discusses her agricultural research in the Yaqui Valley and how it relates to the Green Revolution.  She also reflects upon the politics of sustainable agriculture and how we might go about feeding the 9 billion people we expect in the coming decades.  As a final thought, she offers some advice to those who are coming of age in the Anthropocene, and why we shouldn’t waste our time trying to assign blame.

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The pragmatic conservationist

The chief scientist for The Nature Conservancy Peter Kareiva challenges historical landscapes as the goal of conservation, discusses how to develop econometrics in the Anthropocene, and how he uses science to build an unbiased view of nature.  He also takes a brief moment to address his public image as something of a provocateur.

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