so it looks like this mic is working which is a signal to me that we can officially get going so thank you to everybody who is here and welcome to the last of three-part colloquium series that we’ve been having over the course of this academic year the series was on the topic or has been on the topic of crises and this all got kicked off back in the fall of last year when we were brainstorming on a number of interesting content areas to bring before the tfn and Tufts and Fletcher of friends and family audience and it seemed like one issue that we seem to have an abundance of was crisis and we said why don’t we have an ongoing conversation on crises and reflect on not only what kinds of crises are there but also what are the underlying drivers of these crises and then having kind of decoded them a little bit transition to the upside of crises as in what kinds of innovation and creative opportunities the crises might present so we split up this big messy problem into three kinds of crises geopolitical financial and resource crisis and of course we were concerned that by the time we have each one of these events the crises might resolve themselves and we might have nothing to talk about and I’m once again happy to announce that we have a lot to talk about and our last two sessions of both of which were in New York were enormously stimulating and if I were to kind of boil down the the conclusions not that there were any conclusions as an you know here’s what we need to you know start doing Monday morning but really here are the kinds of things that we need to keep in our minds as we kind of go forward the confusion was that yes there is an underlying crisis play however each each of those crisis crisis whether it was from a geopolitical front or from on the financial front was a platform for creativity and so let’s see what our resource experts today I have to say on that topic and today we have a must say an absolutely stunning array of talent from across the university we have Peter Walker to my to me my immediate left who I think you’re the label you were supposed to wear was food but then Peter Peter is not just a food expert he’s an expert on disasters he’s uh I guess he already means I am a desserts so so so so Peter can can can tell us a lot about nutrition food and the human condition the crisis of the human condition in general and the Peter has a long resume as do each one of our panelists and if I were to read each one as biographies we’ll be here at the entire night so I’m not going to do that Peter directs the Feinstein in National Center and the last time I spoke with him he was in Dar es Salaam which was just last week and every other week he seems to be in a different corner of the world so we’re very glad to have him in our little corner right here in in Boston right next to Peter is rich Vogel who is our expert on water and directs the water system science and society program here at Fletcher and I guess you are the hydrologist in town and I read in an interview rich that that you did with the Atlantic magazine that your favorite pastime other than listening to the sound of water is listening to the music of The Beverly Hillbillies check up on your latest musical tastes once we’re done with discussing water crises and and finally and last and as always not least Kelly Sims Gallagher who is associate professor at the Fletcher School and is our resident expert on energy and the environment and she’s also a senior associate via Belfer Center at Harvard University and Kelly is our you know expert on fuel and alternatives to fuel and the environment so with with that array of expertise we

will have a lot to talk about my suggestion is that we kick off a conversation here and then I’ll open it up to the audience and and feel free to direct your questions to the to the experts and if you have a specific person that you would want to direct you – please do that and when you ask a question please introduce yourself so that we can contextualize your your question let me lead off with with rich and as I was reflecting on the previous symposium the message seemed to be that depending on how you look at it the glasses half full if not half empty and seems quite appropriate to ask the water person that question yes okay well if if there if in excess of 2 billion people having acted not having access to to clean water if having you know over almost 3 billion people had lacking adequate sanitation if if over over 2 million children every year dying from mostly diarrhea but other forms of waterborne disease if those aren’t a crisis that I don’t know what it is I suppose them the real crisis in the world around water really relates to the human humanitarian issues around water their chronic water shortages throughout some of the semi-arid and arid regions of the world they’re expected to increase due to mostly during due to urbanization but also during that due to climate change and you see that in most of the urbanizing areas there are you know you think you often think of water as being non-renewable excuse me renewable but in fact it behaves like a non-renewable resource and much in many parts of the world in places and where they’re drawing the fossil aquifers where they’re not recharging the water at the rate which they’re withdrawing it and as a result there’s land subsidence and it’s just simply unsustainable I mean there are water stresses even you know water stresses are tremendously valuable in space and time and even here in New England we have water stress and in Massachusetts we have a dry river and Ipswich River in September I mean this is this is one of the most stressed basins in the in the country and yet of course we don’t think of ourselves as stressed here and the stresses are you know pale compared to them throughout the earlier as I meant the more humanitarian stress as I mentioned earlier so I would say overall yes we have a water crisis it’s spatially and temporally variable it’s it’s going to increase with climate and an urban is that organization and the impacts are largely on the poor and they’re you know they’re linked to other resources like food and energy and and and and because clean water is needed for adequate health it’s also needed to produce energy and to produce food as we’ll hear more about and really it’s an extraordinary human rights issue and I’ll just end with with with Hillary Clinton she actually says it best believe it or not these are her words the water crises is a health crises it’s a farming crises it’s an economic crises it’s a climate crisis and increasingly it’s a political crises and therefore we must have a complete and equally comprehensive response okay well that’s um it seems like a situation what I can tell that’s therefore but maybe we can or half-empty but maybe we’ll get to the half-full of our part you will you will help me well okay there’s hope you mentioned the the connection with climate and let me let me turn it over to Kelly is there a climate crisis I mean I don’t hear the word glass in this entire run-up to the presidential election ah yeah so weird right well I thought you were gonna ask me if there was an energy crisis and and I was going to say no I mean not depending on how you define the crisis that there’s I don’t think we’re in any danger of running out of fuel we may have certain fuels that are non-renewable that we’re using and that someday will run out but those are just likely to become more and more expensive and not that we would actually totally run out of them but I would say to borrow a phrase from my mentor John Holdren we’re running out of environment as we use up all of these fossil fuels we are exacting great damage on on our physical environment on our water supplies air pollution water pollution and of course climate change and it is puzzling indeed why the sense of urgency

about climate change has waned but I think that’s largely a u.s. phenomenon and when I go elsewhere in the world I I still detect a great sense of urgency it’s just in our current political context I think we’ve lost that sense of urgency okay but say a little bit more about the the fuel crisis or the lack thereof well I mean another way to define the crisis following on riches is that I would also say we have a crisis in terms of human access to energy and you know there are well over two billion people also in the world without access to modern energy services and so from the point of view of human wellbeing that’s that’s a you know that’s a form of poverty it’s an energy poverty not having a light bulb by which you can read and study at night not having access to refrigeration or telecommunications or any of those things and and so that to me is in fact a serious crisis as well so there’s a crisis in distribution but globally you feel that there is enough sources of energy globally there is you know light water fresh water that is energies unequally distributed and there are certain countries that feel very energy resource poor I think Japan is an excellent example and that the you know those National endowments strongly affect the energy policies of those countries and a sense of crisis like Japan had even before the nuclear crisis there you know strongly drove Japan to conserve energy to pursue a path of nuclear power the sense of you know resource and security so I think for some countries lack of natural endowment in terms of you know what’s physically within their borders does feel like a crisis so it seems like the human condition is a is a little bit wobbly either because of you know distribution problems or you know lack of a natural endowment let’s turn to the human condition expert Peter first of all if you look at it through the lens of nutrition and well-being is there a crisis in nutrition well when you first asked me to do this I thought oh yeah but you know we want to sort play up the crisis but it’s a big gloom and doom but I started thinking about it and so here’s the if you sort of drill down into the data on this it does anybody gonna do any dieting by the way right do you know roughly how many calories you have to eat today to sort of take over how many every two thousand and something right you know depends where you’re sedentary whether you’re running the marathon or what you’re doing so in the 1960s if you divided all the food up by the number of people in the world it’s about 2,100 calories per person okay so if you all sit still you will survive you become – today it’s about 2,800 calories and here we have significant more people if you look at the projections for 2030 when we’ll have not six billion but eight billion we’re talking about 3,000 cameras per person well we project is likely to be available so that’s a good story right but the devil is in the details right so here’s the next question how long can you go without eating okay 60 days right it depends how chubby or us you know some of us take a bit longer to get rid of it all so the biggest problem with food is it you need a continuous supply you basically meaning the market has to deliver all the time and what we’re discovering is that over the past thirty years that they were really since the second world wars for certain 50 years the way in which we conceived and whose just changed dramatically I mean that old sort of Waltons farm image of you grow the food new eaters which actually used to apply to most of the world of mice – hardly any of it almost all the food people consumed is now processed in some fashion and almost all the food is no longer just grown locally so it’s either marketed or the price was

influenced by markets so I mean Ethiopia last few weeks came back Sunday and we’re talking about the another round of famine growing there and in ten years ago it was all about drought drought world stamina the famine what they’re talking about now is food prices global food prices the fact that in like 2007 global food prices literally doubled in one year and then the next year went back down again and this year that up to 2.5 what they were pre 2007 so effectively the crisis is that we have created a global food system where what used to be seen as sort of every deep connection between you and your food and sort of a right that you had has changed into a globalized commodity and we’re not very good at figuring out how to make that work in terms of supplying people continuously with the food they need so you still have at one end of the curve something like 770 million people who don’t have enough food to eat and then at the other end of the curve we’ve got a growing obesity crisis which is fed by exactly the same problem our inability to learn to figure out how do we make this new creation that this global way of dealing with food and food production not only to a profit but also actually supply something is pretty fundamental to survive so I there’s a crisis but it’s a different type of crisis it’s not just about quantity it’s about how you make this intriguing system of economics and culture actually function to provide something that you actually can’t do without at least not very low fascinating so it’s quantity economics culture quality of food now you mentioned that food prices doubled and they went down and essentially the end of last year actually food prices went down significantly another bad game and what’s the explanation for it not steadily going up you know it seems like um the driver should be pointing in that direction now what it spends what drives price don’t be here do hedge funds right so not all food is driven by supply and demand but some food price hike is driven by speculation what is going to happen so all the Australians going to have another bad year if they’re going to have a bad year is that going to put grain prices and what’s China going to do Mika’s China is switching from a country that basically used to eat vegetables to a country that’s eating meat it takes about seven kilograms of grain to produce one kilogram of meat so you do the maths right it’s it’s it’s nice but it’s not very efficient so if you have a nation that’s what a quarter of the world that is starting to switch over to meat just project what that’s like you do to demand well think about the amount of grain land that’s been taken out to produce ethanol right so where am I gonna get my biggest bang for my buck died do I sell grain to reduce food or they’re celebrating to produce ethanol and and it’s not something could flip on because the electricals variety used for ethanol is different from the variety of treating so you can’t just change one season so there are a lot of factors they’re going to affect the food price and if I could just jump in I mean I think climate change is an interesting factor here I mean the Russian drought what two years ago now am i right two years ago you know wiped out the whole wheat crop as I recall and that those sorts of things you know are starting to happen with increasing frequency and strongly affecting you know year-to-year variations I think and it never used to be so pervasive because essentially the world economy wasn’t so aggressive yeah and it just fascinates me that I can be in a village in their absolute back of beyond you know where you’ve had to walk for two days to get into this place and you’re talking with a local farmer who is asking you about what’s happening to world grain prices because a generation ago he was not connected with that he did the economy was desegregated and he would basically sell in that Valley but now the price he gets is affected by these longtime trading and it’s just a radical change it’s not good or bad but it’s something they’ve got to figure out how do we deal with it right how do we make an economy work that actually supplies sufficient food for everybody because it can allows us to make a profit and somehow stops these fluctuations in the system it’s also a wobble is in a complicated complexes so rich as you’re listening to this conversation water is the almost a common currency that flows through all

of this what what’s the Canada the the hydrologist and you thinking about you know potential solutions you know potential ways to at least manage the availability of water to the extent that water is a key driver behind in many of the scarcities and challenges that both Kelly and Peter talked about there are an awful lot of similarities first among the three resources and and their interconnection is really profound actually you know how food is a waters a driver for food but it’s also a driver in some sense for energy there are places where energy use for example in South India 40% of the energy is used just to pump groundwater for irrigation mostly for agriculture which is the largest water user you know some of the things to think about are the jet well jet in general a resource crisis is created by you know the mismatch between the demand and the supply and so everything that we can think about and you know we’re I’m hearing an audience that knows probably a lot more about you know predict forecasting both demand and supply and in any sector is very very similar there’s so I would say one of the the most fundamental things we can learn from regarding water is that we can learn from other sectors like the energy sector for example there are all sorts of efficiency gains that are being that have been realized and in turn in the energy sector around demand management around smart grids around all kinds of you know novel ideas that can be stolen basically from sectors which have been thinking about this a lot longer I mean the issue is really common this distribution we talked about it with energy it’s the same with water well the problem is water is a lot heavier than food or energy energy can be set well you know so food is it’s a so the so one of the novel features about water is not only that it’s it’s different it’s different because it’s much heavier it’s hard to transport but there’s this option of virtual water embedded water so we talk about water embedded in in crops and any product and and and the idea is that you know from the middle-east is short on water we can send them crops instead so there’s a host of virtual water trades that a great great promise in that in that I would say in that area but I would just end on one other note and this is you know in the water area there’s there’s a realization there’s two kinds of water ok there’s green water and blue water and by that I don’t mean what you think about Green Green Green is vertical flux transfer of water it’s the water that is embedded in the soil that evaporates and ends up in the sky it’s rainfall what blue waters the stuff that people like me have been thinking about for centuries you know engineers have been moving blue waters it’s a water you see it’s rivers lakes and so forth but what we’ve noticed is that most of the water is tied up as green water and in other words in places where the stresses are greatest for happening we know we did a study in Africa we found with where the greatest stress is where there was the they had the most water green water availability so that you know the notion of how to solve this problem there are some whole new there are whole new ways of thinking about water in terms of green water management literally managing you know evaporation is evil right evaporation is evil because it just transfers the water back to the atmosphere without any productivity doesn’t produce carbon it doesn’t produce food it doesn’t so the idea is to think about water very differently in terms of water management and there are many ideas along those lines that might might prove useful so why green water you wouldn’t include this right no can I just jump in for a second cuz I think we have a doctoral student who just defendant today Ned’s Fang and one of the and he was focusing on the water energy Nexus primarily looking at water consumption for energy so how much water do we consume to produce different forms of energy and he did a terrific dissertation but but to Rich’s point directly and one thing we talked about during his defense today is that often when we think about energy decisions we don’t consider the water consequences so a great example here in the United States was our ethanol mandate in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 where we established this gigantic mandate for ethanol if I remember off the top of my head 36 billion gallons that correct million or billion but sure anyway and lo and behold according to Ned’s calculations you know that biofuel demand is now driving you know it accounts for almost all of us water consumption for energy did anyone even think about that I don’t recall any

discussions of the water consequences of the ethanol mandate during that discussion but it’s had a profound effect on us water consumption hmm many of those decisions are also there significant political considerations rather than economic cause for sure but I mean I think you know the debate then was how are we gonna enhance energy security sure of course there was a political consideration in terms of ethanol production and where that occurs but you know arguably that didn’t substantially enhance energy security and it had this profound impact on water yeah yeah you know it’s interesting and I’m absolutely I’ve seen so many cases this notion of energy security we have yet many other countries now are talking about food security mmm-hmm and seeing it as a part of a national agenda I don’t I mean what my first job when I when I graduated in the early 1980s was helping Colonel Gaddafi turn the desert green movie putting in those big central Paris irrigation system you see and you know he had just part of his national policy was we have to grow enough food it doesn’t matter how much it costs and you know if you’ve got enough money you can do just about anything and he was using fossil water totally unsustainable for food security and the same mentality still goes on today so one of the most interesting twists we’ve seen in the food debate in the last 10 years has been watching the best arable land in Africa being bought up by food corporations and mostly middle-eastern countries hmm in order to grow their food on African soil that export is so effectively it’s another round of colonialization money for food security and you know it’s profitable for the people but ultimately those countries that are now effectively losing territory are going to be in a real problem viewers down the line and when when we look at the system the other thing you talked about was the this notion of efficiency and improving efficiency and if we look at why we managed to increase food production over the last well since 1940s almost all has been through increasing yields you know how many tons per hectare by how many tons per acre could we go there’s not more land to bring in production very little of that and it’s not much more we can do with you now unless you get some really really big advances of genetics right but something like probably less than half the food we produce actually gets eaten notice the wastage in the system it is monumental I spare some between 50 and 60 percent of all food gets wasted because we store it on the farm and we lose food stored on the phone we lose it in transportation we lose it well the conversion to meet who loses a bit but for me the changes in the next generation in terms of securing food it’s going to have to be in that efficiency area because it’s sort of a quick way you know genetics is going to take time and may not produce crops that well particularly for the markets where food is needed because they aren’t actually high demand markets so they’re unlikely to be able to invest in research but improving efficiency and then dealing with these bizarre consequences of food security as they come along I mean nobody predicted a second African land grab it’s just sort of crept up without anybody realizing it so again it’s back to that this this notion of these complex systems were created and we almost have to manage them half a step ahead of all the systems do doing yeah so a peter you mentioned the role of china very briefly in sort of accelerating you know many of the many of the challenges and imperatives that we see sort of cutting across all the resources but you were referring to food in particular but we certainly know that the rise of China in particular and the other emerging markets is contributing to the kind of demand side pressure on water and energy and environmental quality I was in China last week and saw just a little bit of some of the kind of remarkable policy transformations you know both within China and and some of the things that they implementing out there and some of it is just uh its kind of boggles the mind where they’re moving entire rivers you know shifting directions to feed the major cities away from in a certain certain parts of the country and then there are entrepreneurs I traveled with some entrepreneurs to

the foot of the Great Wall where they are planting willow trees to sort of capture water and then they’re going to use it to they use the area to develop organic farms to encourage local farming and so on to address some of the concerns that that you were talking about Peter China is contributing to the demand side pressure but China for its own interest is also looking two steps ahead in fact it’s it seems to be much more farsighted than the US government or policymakers and practically any other part of the world and so I’m wondering you Kelly a large part of your research and and field experience is in China are there any particular insights that you have picked up in your research on China as they have been exploring alternatives you know energy sources as they are thinking about their own policies for environmental security are there any learnings from what they are doing that are applicable to the u.s. to other emerging markets big question no country well I think of China is one gigantic paradox or as Mao Chairman Mao used to say lots of internal contradictions so you know on the one hand now China is the largest coal producer largest coal consumer largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions on the other hand also is now has the largest renewable energy capacity in the world and as you were sort of alluding to it’s really taken a leadership position in a lot of our new renewable energy technologies and controvert I mean this is sort of a controversial topic which I’m happy to return to in the Q&A but I’ve been working on a book as you know on the development of some of these industries in China and you know I think it’s fair to say that the Chinese investments and kind of consistent coherent broad-based support for solar and wind has helped to bring those the cost of those technologies down dramatically by a factor of three in the case of solar energy which has wonderful benefits for everybody who consumes you know solar PV modules or wind turbines I mean the rest of us benefit greatly from Cheaper you know access to cleaner energy technologies so I think you know but then at the same time as you’ve probably noticed there’s horrible urban air pollution the I think 16 at the top 20 most polluted cities in the world are in China they have tremendous problems with enforcement of regulations but yet it’s a place with tremendous energy and I mean energy in the sense of kind of a drive to find solutions make a difference and a lot of entrepreneurial activity going on there so I feel very hopeful about China I worry about timing I think the central government leadership very much understands all of these challenges you know they worry a lot about food security they gave up a few years ago I can’t remember exactly when on self-sufficiency and food that was a long-held almost had become cultural and I think they’re deeply worried about water in fact I think they’re worried about water is what drives they’re worried about climate change because they’re so worried about the decline of fresh water supply from the Tibetan Plateau so I think the central government understands many of these challenges very well and they’re trying to experiment with different ways of approaching these issues and how to enforce the policies that they that they set forth mm-hmm so there are clearly some some benefits that we’re seeing from the the extremely focused approach of you know certainly led by the Chinese central government and and then the broader entrepreneurial community around it and there’s a lot of talk in the press about the the negative aspects of it and the unintended consequences of it but you talked about some of the positive aspects which is that it’s indeed it has brought down prices you know in in in the solar industry in particularly rich

Peter do you see positive outcomes of the Chinese global strategy not just within China but say in Africa in Latin America do you see positives in your own domains I suppose in Africa I mean China’s now the biggest investor in Africa right and in if you’ve been going there for many years as I have it just fascinates me that’s you know so stuck in a traffic jam in Addis Ababa last week because there’s a new dual carriageway and the guys driving the trucks they are all Chinese it’s chinese companies that are putting the road network in right talking with ethiopian entrepreneur about what he’s investing his investing in sesame seeds why china wants to buy up the entire possible production of ethiopia in sesame seeds they want to lock it up they want people to move away from grain whatever you’re growing grass that’s miss it we need it so you’ve got this this was this dual notion of china as a nation that wishes needs to secure resources and is extraordinary pragmatic about how to do it you know we need resources therefore we’ll do a deal that’s really what it boils down to and we need markets and so we are going to sell you are so you cannot buy Chinese cars so the you know where’s it gonna go I I’m not sure and when you talk with colleagues and action factory softs alumni who are in governments in Africa they’re not sure you know you don’t know whether they’re they’re getting into better the tiger or you know what’s gonna happen because this relationship is completely different to the relationship they’ve had with previous investors to the relationship of the west where there’s always been these strings about they going to improve democracy or human rights no such strings for China it’s like it’s quite bizarre it’s it’s the most straight set of business deals that you will ever see on the thing this is Chairman Mao no no no this is China right it’s business deals you know very different yeah I can really relate to a few things that Kelly said about energy and I wasn’t aware of those and you know in China they really a paradox I mean they take the Three Gorges Dam right Three Gorges Dam was it’s one of the largest largest dam in the world basically it’s a pounds displaced over three million people it generates knowledge at the time it was constructed almost a third of China’s electricity it was a macroeconomic event you know and the evaluations and discussions of that project for four decades were very critical from many aspects and yet when you when you look very closely out of you find that this dam was considered in the middle of the 1800s it was the planning began in the mid-1800s and the plan was to move water to northern China and these are things that haven’t been in the conversation I mean when we talk about all the distant I’m not and I’m not in favor or disfavor of that Dam the point being that that that that it’s extremely complex some of the issues that that they go on I was involved with the high river basin in the feed so it’s one of the largest basins in in China that feeds the mouths of you know the mouths of the mouth of the river and ends in Beijing and in this this river basin interestingly they were using some of the most advanced remote sensing techniques to manage evapotranspiration in the upland regions I mean stuff that we’re not even doing and yet at the same time they came to us we had a workshop at Tufts I run a program in water system science and society we do a lot of integrated work they came to us asking gee how much should we charge for the water that you know that we sell to northern China because the annoyed because their economic system hasn’t yet come to grips with you know the balance of the demand and supply and the economic and treating water as a good they were just thinking gee how much does it cost to move the water which of course is just a fraction of the real cost for the true cost of of that water and the value of that water and I can do so many examples it’s so in another example that that it puts them on par with us I mean just like our Colorado River and ends up in Mexico dry because of poor water policy at the turn of the 19th century and we end up with a desalination plant at the mouth of the Colorado you know where it well actually at the conflict where it meets a Mexico they have the same problem they’re one of their largest Yangtze River is practically dry I mean this is one of the largest rivers in the in the world and these are these are crisis in the making basically due to withdrawals human water withdrawals we’ve changed the whole literally the whole hydrology the hydrologic cycle of many of these basins doesn’t look anything like what Mother Nature gave us a long time ago most of the water is

moving through human systems now and this is embedded actually in human systems and they’re a great example these are these are such fascinating issues and I just want to take a 1/2 a minute for a quick commercial break you know you don’t get anything free so the quick commercial break is about what we’re trying to do at the Fletcher School and and Fletcher which as all of you know is is the oldest exclusively graduate school in international affairs in the country and Fletcher’s purpose is to examine issues that are the most the most significant problems on the global stage and try to understand what the underlying causes of those problems are and then try to produce the next generation of leaders who will come up with solutions to those problems and solutions to those problems cannot draw upon a single community it really needs to bring together the thought leaders several of whom are on the stage people from the private sector investors entrepreneurs technologists businesspeople people in the policy arena and people in in the social sector you know people yeah folks who work you know at the grassroots level and folks who work Mozilla agencies over the course of the last year we founded an institute called the Institute for business in the global context which houses a new degree at Fletcher the master of International Business which blends a classic business education with a classic Fletcher International Affairs education as part of the work of this institute one of the activities that are a group of our students engaged in was imagining what the world would look like ten years from now and this group of students produce an issue of The Economist magazine for the year February 2022 and many of the stories that showed up and in the lead of this Economist magazine just was a reflection of exactly this conversation and a lot of that works our drew upon brainstorming and research that the student sent down of what were the fundamental trends that were going to shape a civilization and the global society and it’s pretty clear that no matter where you turn to a thoughtful discussion of these underlying drivers it does come back to the issues of food water and fuel and so it’s a real privilege to have you know all of you here and we hope that in our in our next gathering of a suden team that comes up with the April issue of The Economist magazines of the Year 2022 we’ll be able to interview you for some of those articles and have you quoted for the future but before we do that I’d like to now take the opportunity to invite the audience for questions and see if there are some burning issues that you’d like to put to our experts the gentleman back there if you don’t mind just identifying yourself and you’re you know is this not a crop I’m John Howe I’m Fletcher class of 84 so I came of age in the 60s when Paul Ehrlich’s Population Bomb was kind of part of the background of the culture somehow during the 70s the topic of population became taboo and for 40 years it seems to have been the all of you mentioned it obliquely it’s kind of the independent variable will the topic of population resume center stage any problem that we can solve with 7 billion people may still be insoluble with 10 or 12 billion people so I’d be interested in you in your views should we start with the the disaster person right here Thanks okay well there’s a couple of stories I think in this I need your write it it’s amazing how some of these topics people just don’t want to talk about right so there’s two bits to the the population thing the first is that the the overall rate of growth is slacking off right so we’re not growing as fast as a globe as we were previously and you could project that curve and it you know there are error factors but 9 billion 10 billion people and it may start to level off okay um so you look at why why does that come down and where is it not coming down where it’s not coming down as mostly in the developing south and if we go back in history we look at why did it start to come down on the north it’s essentially about the difference between how many people are being born and how many people are dying always like any population right if you have more people need being born and fewer people dying

even it grows and the really determining factor is fertility rate how many children are you willing to have what happened in the West was essentially as we got better at medicine as we introduced antibiotics or but actually as we introduced better sanitation which is the real kicker that prolonged people’s lives this happened over 50 100 years and the size of families changed people started having smaller families because it made more economic sense the trouble in most southern states some countries is that the speed with which you’ve moved from as we were in the seventeen hundreds to as we know now rather being a hundred years has been in thirty years with the introduction of better sanitation better health care systems and effectively the rate of the fertility rate has not gone down at the same pace and so effectively you therefore have got a great population now there are science that in many go so in many middle-income companies countries it is declining you’ve still got a whole you’ve got a problem with sub-saharan Africa an area of the world which 1980 was food self-sufficient now is only producing about eighty percent of its food and has growth rates that still in the two percent popular two percent a big increase payer right so it’s a matter of differentiating it down it’s I would say the real issue is how do you take those countries that’s her in the bottom third of the economy of the world and start to get the fertility rate to come down to where it is and the others if you can do that then you have a population that’s manageable so for your reference those of you who have less than 2.1 children you’re keeping the population down if you have more than two point one then you’re actually adding to our seven billion and if you live in a developing country if you have more than two point three which I couldn’t feel guilty what’s that any just say you know I think that Ehrlich was brilliant in understanding I mean although the the bomb you know maybe he hasn’t come to fruition he was brilliant in understanding the fundamental role the population plays in in terms of any kind of impact you can think of you know he’s very famous for this iPad equation and I’m looking at some of my former students but I won’t call on them but the equation was that any impact is a function of population affluence which we typically measure is per capita GDP and then technology so in in the energy space we often use an energy intensity metric the amount of energy you’re using per unit of GDP and you know it’s a great tool to use in the classroom and in the real world because that gives you a nice set of options so what do we you know what are we going to do if we want to reduce the impact of something we can reduce population but that’s not a palatable topic anywhere except you know maybe in China and even in China that’s a difficult topic you know a controversial topic of course affluence who wants to tell someone they should get poor or that there should be less economic growth and then that leads us to technology and that’s almost misleading in the sense that it isn’t just simply a function of you know having cleaner technologies but you know using them so to me you keep his spot on population is a huge driver and it’s one of the things that I think is hardest to deal with and and that hasn’t changed let’s take a question I think you had actually could I just comment on one aspect because this is something that how many of you live in it in a town where you thought you’ve got several hundred year floods in a row recently hundred year floods in a row this is all about population growth you see what it is is it’s a complete mistake we’re not getting more hundred year floods what’s happening in these urbanizing areas of the United States I did a study in which we showed that in the urbanizing area where population has increased over time the magnification of floods has increased dramatically in comparison to climate change you know climate change pales the effects on floods compared to grow literally construction of impervious surfaces that’s for floods and that’s well known it was also recent study in Africa that showed that Pratt that most of the human damages from floods arise from urbanization from from population growth rather than from climate and not to say climates not important in the change but on the on the on the other

side of the coin you have you know you have droughts now droughts far more complex and and it’s used to be just you could predict but whether you know how much water do people needed just by how many people there were of course now with conservation and in new technologies population growth and water and water demand are not really very well correlated on the one hand on the other hand I mean there’s no way around the solution of water crises without thinking about how we’re gonna serve this population and and increase the fertility rate and so and so forth and the only we’re going to get there in my opinion is through small-scale at source point of source treatment point of view sorry point of use treatment so there’s all these new technologies that are you know innovation technology very low tech things you know how to filter water when you use it to get clean clean water and where you have it and this is a tremendous growth area you’re gonna hear all kinds of things about this in the future I’m so amazed at the universities and the researchers have not addressed this issue to humanity humanitarian issue it’s really one of these things I just can’t quite understand why we haven’t done anything about it but but it’s all about population just like those that those know straws that are being distributed in many parts of develop straws very simple filters very more complex systems that actually do treatment for larger households please it’s probably on I think negotiating with different countries especially Africa for example for natural resources and usually depending on the power of the government there were better deals on behalf of their government sometimes though it better deals on behalf of a few people but it wasn’t just the ability in the 60s 70s 80s as easily to push away in and make it just being for the multinational that said you treat me when you talked about how China negotiates can you elaborate on their paradigm number one and number two is there a difference from country to country say Justin okay so I suppose a couple of issues worth picking up on what intrigues me about watching the way China operated is just home down and pragmatic it is you can see then what they it’s the Ritz about the resources and it’s the sense of time scale right that what they’re trying to do I think is construct a series of relationships which will last in a series of deals that were last it’s not about a an election cycle it’s not an election cycle it’s knotting and we’ll do this for the next five years but then somebody else is going to be in power it’s what do we need to do in order to get through the next 100 years and analytically it’s a different mindset and if you look back through Chinese history you see that mindset of that but ability to plan long term to think much longer term and what we typically do in our business I think that’s part of it the other thing that comes out is is you ask invariant across countries one of the things we’ve been looking at people looking at what actually allows a country to become less violent to have better human rights to have more secure food supplies numbers to be a nicer place to live and the single biggest correlated factor across it is good governance mm-hmm you know countries were actually you have a government that has a sense of responsibility and doesn’t have to be elected necessarily but it you know it’s a relationship between people and government and one of the things we discover is that the countries that have the hardest time reaching that stage by countries with large amounts of natural resources to sell because basically you could make your country run just by selling here although you don’t actually have to be accountable to people so you’d think you know Ziya having all of those Cobalts and all the other minerals was democratic republic of the congo you’d think it was a great thing it absolutely isn’t the the it actually creates a less democratic country and a less sustainable country so you have this dilemma that quite often these these natural resource deals are good for a few families and some of them get extraordinarily rich out there but actually are quite bad for the country as a whole and you can see this debate playing out a country like Ethiopia now whether they’re saying you know are we right to be selling our natural resources to China on mass and tying these deals up via government contracts which little

example so well Ethiopia used to have the best telecommunication system Africa in the 1980s way better than NBL said the constant part from South Africa it’s now one of the worst it’s the probably the only telecom system after that hasn’t privatized in any fashion whatsoever it’s run by the government it’s controlled by the government it was about to privatize and start privatizing a year ago China’s just popped two billion dollars into the telecommunications infrastructure so the government doesn’t privatise he doesn’t have to open up the market it doesn’t have to bring people into the discussion about what do you want because they say it’s working now right so it’s a complicated relationship so so my credit project helping with the Fletcher class of 99 following as a follow-up question onto that when my great interest is corruption and this this is an instance of potential corruption one of the things that didn’t come out was corruption if we talk about China they have a long term perspective on one hand on the other hand you have Ho ghost cities being built because why because the fastest resource you can flip if you can get it off to someone else when it’s built you don’t have the risk of the Mafia coming and taking you out so right now in China we have whole towns being whole cities being built for that and that’s gonna cost how else do you see corruption of playing out in this complex relationship you’ve been describing in the different sectors rich you have a perspective and I don’t think I have a to informed and a perspective I I can’t help but think of the situation in Mumbai where you know you have these unauthorized citizens living in the outskirts of the you know and this is happening in many urbanizing area where you have a central water supply for the urban area but then these illegal illegal residents have no water and so there’s tremendous amount of corruption involved in trying to you know literally connect make illegal connections that is literally a whole culture and a entire culture that surrounds the problem of these illegal connections more broadly you know the idea of corruption in water again you know being an engineer I’m not as versed in policy matters of this kind and don’t have this broader I don’t have anything I’d rather turn it to the others there’s a fabulous book actually just from Dubai and corruption written by Katherine buco there behind the beautiful forevers strongly recommend that to anybody who’s interested in at least reading about that aspect of it in in the region that rich was talking about Kelly Peter Eric Nam it’s it’s it’s back to the governance issue corruption is just a spin on bad governance right the systems that allow so corruption or how does transparency international define it but the abuse of power for personal gain well that sounds pretty much like what most autocrats do so it’s about that issue it’s about poor governance and the ability of people to use a system not for the good of all but just for their personal no I mean it’s interesting that we’ve just some of the African states are now starting to stamp down on it because that the you know the the the evidence is so clear that you are not going to move your country forward if you have high levels of corruption and it’s not not just the Democratic ones even even the more personal autocratic states are now trying to find ways of at least showcasing them of the worst excesses one of the intriguing things so that I find is trying to figure out where corruption ends and where cultural practice starts right so in in many societies it’s a good thing to get a job for your son on your uncle but in Germany it’s not I mean that does corruption and journalist nepotism right so we’re here in the United States so there’s quite a lot of debate goes on and we have this in in most of the state suite where we do our research at what point is that is it accepted local practice among points corrupt and will you always come back to say is do you see this do you feel this as an abuse of power if you feel it as an abuse of power then it’s corrupt and it goes along with bad governance it goes along with the inability of people to avoid in that country if you could tackle that then you’re well on the way to making a sustainable country well the specific example that you’ve cited of real estate you know kind of rampant over building of buildings you know commercial and residential it’s not just limited to China it’s happening in

practically every one of the major emerging markets and a lot of that is is sort of resting on a foundation of corruption and that over building is contributing to water problems because of the urban congestion that which I was talking about certainly contributing to the air quality problems that Kelly was talking about and and of course it all ties back into food and all all the food issues so it’s it’s central and it’s unclear how anybody could do can reverse that trend because it seems to be happening you know practically as a corollary of the fast growth that the fast growing parts of the world seem to be experiencing wondering if there are other voices back here how about the lady in the back row right there I current amberlynn Fletcher 99 I was just thinking to Boston and we recently had you know our own energy crisis or the snow storm in October a water crisis where people ran to the store bought water when all they really needed to do was oil their water and you know with the energy loss in October people lost two three holes of food from Costco so how does it adjust our own personal expectations and adjust our kind of our survival instincts would become so urbanized in accustomed to these resources that are so free and cheap and readily available that when they become unavailable we kind of hit crisis mode and what’s big that well it’s Catholic disaster preparedness room no I mean rich touched on us already one of the when the intriguing things about the way we’ve created our world is we have built very complicated interconnected systems right and in some ways those can be very stable so if we take for instance Walmart’s logistics system Walmart is a logistics company they just happen to have grocery chains at the end but they’re basically a logistics system extraordinarily complicated system just hone to perfection I mean it’s just a joy to watch how it works hmm their ability to control that system however when it breaks down you get the effect you’re seeing so one of the things people are now starting to push is this notion of can can you instead of having one large integrators can have much smaller systems so the for instance your food supply is much closer to where you’re eating it but you’re still getting information from other systems to trade so you can take that down to your own household level and say well where’s your preparedness do you know I’ve been brought up in the Disaster Response business I’m probably a disaster freak I actually keep a stock of water in the cellar and I’ve got my food complete nerd but then I feel quite smug when the electricity goes out and I’ve got that light I can use and I’ve got the water and I’ve got the food and I think in many ways that’s the sort of thing we probably need to be thinking about because all the predictions we say say that you are going to see more crises simply because of the the speed with which our systems are changing and our inability to adapt our social structures our political structures to keep up with those changes and like in any evolutionary system if you don’t keep up adoption what you get a crises and so you’ve got wallets got a model the way you you you construct your business your industry or your life but say crises are going to become much more normal and so I’m going to have to be able to figure out how do I survive two days of electricity what I put in house how does my business survive without a computer server for a week and that’s I think gonna be a different way of thinking next generation I would I would argue we’re really just beginning to understand these complex systems I mean Walmart is a great example you could mean I think about this when I Drive a Privia you know the system is so complex and yet it’s so beautifully designed some master a masterpiece but when you start thinking about a water set how do you have a Katrina happen I mean Katrina happened because yes because of governmental lapses and all sorts of social and political issues but it also lacks because we have a huge hurricane meet a river and you know river engineers they work on rivers and coastal engineers work on coasts and they don’t never put the two together nobody ever really thought about what would happen if you had both those things at the same time the same thing happens with these three resources we’re just beginning to think about this and and I I saw a movie recently which you’ll all hear about because it’s the next it’s sort of the Al Gore movie for climate change is about – the last quality at the Oasis is made by the same producer and is about to be released on May 4th I saw out of pre-screening and I was really disappointed because what they talked about all the things you’ve heard about and you’ve read about but they didn’t talk about what you don’t hear about water management

the the hidden the hidden behind the scenes what goes on in water manager I want to make a movie that talks about the crises that could happen that is possible I don’t want to talk about terrorism because I don’t wanna give them a good ideas but we could do that as well but I want to make a movie where you know a dam breaches because of a liquid earthquake liquefaction event and then yes of course we’ve seen that movie before all that the breach that occurs and the flood damages but how about what happens in the aftermath when that River when that water supply was perhaps the Hoover Dam which is the ol sole source of water for a metropolitan area like Las Vegas which you know is landlocked let’s say and couldn’t get water anywhere else what’s gonna happen over the next you know two or three decades to provide water when it took 50 years for the Hoover Dam to fill I mean it was built in 1930 it didn’t fill until 1985 I mean there and it’s and it’s only been full a couple times since then or actually about twice so what I would argue is we haven’t even really thought through some of the crises that are potential and I’m not trying to be doom and gloom here because I actually don’t think that way normally but but I’m just our systems are so complex that I really don’t think we’ve really thought through what could be and how vulnerable we are when you when I heard that question I have to laugh because you think you’re vulnerable I mean think about what could happen and where you could be living in the kinds of problems we could have you know and that’s not to denigrate the question it was a great question because it brought up all these ideas so on that on that note and doom and gloom I actually it with the due respect to our experts here I do want to provide a counter example which is that we actually don’t have at all any scarcity of food water and a fuel for further conversation if you just step outside because there’s plenty of it and what I would suggest is we transition to – taking the discussion to the next room I do want to kind of close out this part of the conversation the more in a plenary formal part of the conversation by asking each one of our panelists kind of one simple question and I you know in the spirit of projecting yourself in the future I won’t ask you to project ten years out I’ll simply ask you to go to January 2013 and you’ve been called into the office of President Rick Santorum and Kelly you have to give him one good idea you’ll finally get his mind wrapped around the question of energy and an opportunity that’s actually easy because I was asked that before President Obama right after he was elected and my suggestion was that the United States should aim to become the most energy-efficient country in the world and by setting a clear metric in in terms of energy efficiency we would solve so many different or not necessarily solve but make great progress on many different issues such as energy security climate change urban air pollution would actually do a lot for water probably for food I haven’t thought about that certainly for food in terms of ethanol so I think if I had to pick one thing that’s what I would pick and this is true pump priming by government subsidies oh now you’re getting into how I think there’s a lot of different things that we don’t to be done I mean we don’t price energy well we don’t reflect most of the you know externalities as we call them in terms of national security and environment and health and so forth so I mean not that personally that would be my choice politically that’s probably the least palatable choice rich your payoffs to president Rick yep you know I could say you know bring water to all those poor people that don’t have it I could say that instead of bringing water just bringing water but teaching them how to get their own water I could say not only teaching them how to get their own water but teaching them how to manage and secure fresh clean water for their future generations and if I said all that together that’s what we do it Tufts actually in this program the water system science the society program we teach our students about all of that and we actually do some of it and so I like my dream would be that we could take a program like this and we could meld it with you know the financial world as well as perhaps NGOs and and and and donors that that do this sort of you know fundamental humanitarian work and and and put it all together into a package a sustainable package Peter for crisis so did he get into the landslide

betrayal it was a squeaker yeah but at that point what the Supreme Court said well so I suppose what I’d say to him is you need to think of food and you need to think of food security in the United States not just as a commercial system because it’s really a base if you do not have a welfare population that means enough food mm-hmm and not too much so if you have an obese population that population does not function well it’s schools in school go down their ability to be creative goes down you know it is a security it’s a national security problem so somehow what you have got to do you have got to be the first president who’s able to square the circle of saying food is a right and food is a commercial resource and if you can figure out as a president how to make a commercial system supply somebody’s right then you’ve actually figured out one of the biggest problems with States to make sudol supplies to water it applies to information it applies to education so if you can square that circle how do you make profit of supplying right hmm great um I think we’ll have a bright future ahead but president Rick Santorum going forward as long as you got the rights of these kinds of advisors well it’s been said that the future is already here it’s only that it’s unevenly distributed it seems like you know from the very brief comments that we had an opportunity to share with our experts there is a there is a crisis depending on how you look at it however the the kind of the glass half-full version of it is yes there’s a demand and supply imbalance but there is a distribution problem and if you can find the opportunities to match the you know the supply to the demand and potentially find alternative sources of supply and there are technologies available to to help do that we could address many parts of the other problem and there are some some entrepreneurs some governments such as the government in China that are taking some very deliberate steps towards towards resolving it which suggest that for those of you who are in the investment community in the business community in the entrepreneurial or technology community there is hope in terms of being able to you know create those right matches on that note I would ask you to join me in thanking our experts for a very stimulating conversation