Greenhouse gas emissions need to be reduced -- quickly -- if the world is to avoid widespread conflict, says Gwynne Dyer. The noted historian, international affairs columnist and lecturer will open this year's UBC Okanagan Distinguished Speaker Series with a free public lecture at the Kelowna Community Theatre on Sept. 12.
Dyer's presentation, After Iraq, will examine the interplay of critical global issues that include population growth, a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, the world's reliance on non-renewable energy resources, climate change, and the large-scale human conflict that may arise as a result of resource shortages.
"We are just barely able to feed the current six and a half billion people on the planet, thanks to the Green Revolution and a shift to very energy-intensive agriculture," says Dyer. "But there is no second Green Revolution coming, and there are still lots more people coming. Start subtracting significant amounts of food production, and significant numbers of people are in trouble."
He warns that this could create conflict, including armed conflict, "because nobody will sit quietly and watch their children starve when any alternatives remain, including violent ones. Some of those watching their children starve will have the resources and technology to threaten those who still have food, but just enough food," he says.
"The only way to avoid this future, if it can be avoided, is to get greenhouse gas emissions down drastically in the next 10 to 15 years."
Date: September 12, 2007
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Kelowna Community Theatre -- 1435 Water Street, Kelowna, BC
About Gwynne Dyer
Gwynne Dyer was born in Newfoundland in 1943. After studying at universities in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, he received his PhD in military and Middle Eastern history from the University of London.
Dyer served in the Canadian, American and British navies. He taught military history and war studies for two years at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto and for four years at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst.
Since he left teaching in 1973, Dyer has worked as a freelance journalist, broadcaster and lecturer. His syndicated columns on international affairs appear in a dozen languages in nearly 200 newspapers published in more than 40 countries around the world.
Dyer is frequent lecturer. His reflections on globalization and the nation-state were published in 1996 by the Canadian Institute of International Affairs in its series Behind the Headlines.
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