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Thursday, June 21, 2012
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
T-DO Conference Room Bldg 123, Room 121


Navigating the global energy, economic development, environment and climate challenge

Rajan Gupta

Spectacular developments in technology and resource exploitation have provided 2-3 billion people unprecedented lifestyles and opportunities in the twentieth century. On the energy front, this has largely been achieved using inexpensive fossil fuels-- coal, oil and natural gas. The real costs, many of which are hidden and long-term, has been that Earth, with all its inhabitants and nature, is today being stressed at unprecedented levels and conditions exist that could result in catastrophes. Providing the same opportunities to nine or ten billion people will require 2-3 times current energy needs even with anticipated gains in efficiency. There is little doubt that, globally, we have the resources (100 more years of fossil fuels) and the technology to use these fuels ever more cleanly so that the impact on the environment is small and localized. Unfortunately, the emissions of green house gases and their contributions to climate change mandate we transform this existing successful system. This talk will address some of the key challenges and present some options. While much of the discussion will be global, I will attempt to put the arguments in the context of Australia, a country rich in natural resources and human talent.

Host: Rajan Gupta