A Planet of 3 Billion – Dr Christopher Tucker’s Seminar Report

Following his keynote at AGI’s annual conference #GeoCom19 – Dr Christopher Tucker was invited by AGI Scotland to present to local members who were unable to travel to London.

How many people do you believe the earth can support?

Dr Tucker spoke about his recent book, A Planet of 3 Billion. The book takes a wide sweep of the human footprint on the planet – not just evaluating carbon emissions and climate change impact, but also areas such as agriculture, waste, infrastructure and urbanisation. All of these are directly related to population growth – which Dr Tucker describes as long having been seen as taboo to consider this an issue.

The many impacts of the human footprint on Earth’s ecoregions were backed up and illustrated with geospatial data and geographical concepts. This use of data and geospatial to consider one of the most important issues of our time will strike a chord with many in the AGI.

Are there solutions? Well, improving the use of spatial-temporal data to combat shifting baseline syndrome (where we can evidence change and impact beyond a generational memory) and rewilding our global landscapes were two main areas identified. But Dr Tucker also stressed the empowerment of women. He explains that in societies where women are educated, empowered and have access to family planning, the population growth has a positive impact. Of course, this isn’t for women to manage but for all of us to strive for.

Dr Tucker’s book, A Planet of 3 Billion is now available. His presentation to AGI #GeoCom19 will shortly be made available to members along with other conference sessions.

This seminar was kindly facilitated and held in partnership with The Bayes Centre. The Bayes Centre is the University of Edinburgh’s innovation hub for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence.

AGI Scotland will be focusing on the issue of sustainability for our next annual event – “Sustainable Scotland” on 25 February 2020.