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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - IRI THESys

Lectures 2015/16

 

Most of our public lectures are available on video!


 

Corey Bradshaw

Increasing global costs of invasive insects

THESys Lecture Series

Thurs, 19 November 2015, 17 ct, Humboldt Graduate School, Festsaal

Future human population growth, economic expansion and possibly climate change will increase the prevalence and distribution of invasive insects, and there will therefore be massive and increasing costs to agriculture, forestry, human health, real estate, and ecosystems. At the University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute, we compiled a comprehensive database of estimated economic (agriculture, control, real estate, forestry; €), human health (disease; disabilityadjusted life years) and ecological (ecosystem services) costs of the worst 100 invasive insects globally. Our aim is to estimate a ‘global’ minimum cost of burgeoning invasions resulting from human economic activity, rising population sizes and climate warming, and determine the minimum savings accumulated to mid-century if society invests heavily in control and prevention now as opposed to paying for accrued damages.

Corey Bradshaw holds the Sir Hubert Wilkins Chair of Climate Change at the University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute. He has a broad range of research interests including population dynamics, extinction theory, palaeo-ecology, sustainability, invasion biology, community ecology, and climate change impacts & mitigation. He has published over 240 peer-reviewed scientific articles, 9 book chapters and two books. He is regularly featured in Australian and international media for his research. His blog, ConservationBytes.com, has been visited over 1.4 million times from biodiversity-interested people all over the world.

See the lecture on Video!

Location: Humboldt Graduate School, Luisenstrasse 56, 10115 Berlin, Festsaal (2nd floor)

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Can Dangerous Climate Change Be Avoided?

THESys Lecture Series

Thurs, 17 December 2015, 17 ct, Humboldt Graduate School, Festsaal

 


This lecture is cancelled!

In this lecture Darrel Moellendorf discusses some of the obstacles to overcoming dangerous climate change. He employs an identificatory account of dangerous climate change that takes climate change and climate change policy as dangerous if it imposes avoidable costs of poverty prolongation. Moellendorf discusses plausible accounts of the collective action problems that bedevil climate change negotiations because these seem to explain the lack of ambition to mitigate. He then considers the pledge and review process in light of these explanations. Pledge and review possesses two important virtues. First, voluntary pledges should encourage broad participation. Second, pledges made as a result of domestic political processes, and not through diplomatic wrangling, provide a procedural safeguard against poorer, weaker states being put under diplomatic duress. Despite these two virtues, given the perceptions of the marginal short term costs of mitigation, pledge and review is unlikely, at least initially, to issue in an agreement to make deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. But far from ideal, pledge and review may be the best available policy for mitigation. Moreover, there may be grounds to hope for increased mitigation ambition. Recent economic research suggests that the short term benefits of mitigation may be greater than previously assumed, perhaps even sufficient to offset the costs. Two conclusions seem supported by the above considerations. First, rather than by means of an international agreement centrally parceling out mitigation burdens so as to achieve the substantive requirements of justice regarding the assignment of mitigation burdens, pledge and review may achieve the important requirement of justice of protecting the right to sustainable development by procedural means. Second, an agreement lacking in sufficient ambition to avoid dangerous climate change might be strengthened, not primarily by appeal to moral duty, but through the proper recognition of the self-interests of states.

Darrel Moellendorf is Professor of International Political Theory and Philosophy at the Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main.

Location: Humboldt Graduate School, Luisenstrasse 56, 10115 Berlin, Festsaal (2nd floor)

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Ralf Seppelt

Conceptualizing and understanding global scale land use pattern for reconciling biodiversity conservation and agricultural production

THESys Lecture Series

Thurs, 14 January 2016, 17 ct, Humboldt Graduate School, Festsaal

Due to globally increasing pressure on land several scientific debates emerged on reconciling food production and biodiversity conservation. We see that production rates of food and renewable resources slowed down around 2006 and thus conclude that peak years of renewable resources appeared already. It is thus of utmost importance to develop provisioning of food and commodities while sustaining our life support system, i.e. maintain ecosystem functioning and conserve biodiversity. Though research is often limited to an antagonistic set of land use conditions that pit humans against nature and often adopt a dichotomous perspective and even more do not provide concepts for transferability of results. Ralf Seppelt proposes a general framework and presents results that incorporate multiple aspects of land use on a global and regional scale ready to be used for managing the trade-offs between agricultural production and biodiversity conservation in the world’s diverse ecological and social contexts. Such a comprehensive understanding, synthesizing knowledge across a variety of global landscapes, is urgently needed as global trade of agricultural products makes externalizing of production easier than ever before and risks success in achieving recently enacted sustainable development goals.

Prof. Dr. Ralf Seppelt is mathematician and landscape ecologist and heads the Department for Computational Landscape Ecology at the UFZ Leipzig and holds a professorship at Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg. His expertise and research interests lay in the field of land resources and ecosystem service management utilizing integrated simulation models and quantitative analysis tools. He is coordinating the scientific and synthesis project GLUES of the BMBF Program „Sustainable Land Management“ and spokesperson of the Helmholtz Research School ESCALATE (Ecosystem Services Under Changing Land-Use and Climate).

See the lecture on Video!

Location: Humboldt Graduate School, Luisenstrasse 56, 10115 Berlin, Festsaal (2nd floor)

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Have a look at the poster!
 


See overview.