Crispin Tickell Articles, essays, lectures and other writings
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Global governance

2013-05-02
Vulnerable Earth: hits from space and other disasters - A lecture at the University of St Andrews, 2 May 2013.
2011-03-13
Societal responses to the Anthropocene - published in the Theme Issue of the Philosophical Transaction of the Royal Society, 13 March 2011: "The Anthropocene: a new epoch of geological time?". "The idea that humans could so transform the land surface, seas and atmosphere of the Earth to establish a new geological epoch in their own name is startling in itself, and would have amazed earlier generations. Yet, since the beginning of the industrial revolution some 250 years ago, humans have profoundly affected the Earth and all life on it. The consequences are becoming more evident every day, but in the longer term remain almost unknowable ... "
2010-10-24
Natural disasters through the ages - a lecture given as part of the Mary Anning Weekend at Lyme Regis, 24 October 2010. "We tend to classify most sudden change as disastrous ... But without disasters we would not be here. The history of living organisms, so far as we know it from the fossil evidence, shows a pattern of relative evolutionary stability, punctuated by relatively sudden departures of some species and the arrivals of others. Few ecosystems or species last more than a few million years. Extinctions are an essential element in evolution."
2009-11-23
The challenge is clearer than ever - the response has yet to come - A review of The Economics and Politics of Climate Change, edited by Dieter Helm and Cameron Hepburn. Oxford University Press 2009 538 pp. Published in the Financial Times 28 November 2009.
2008-10-21
The future of cities: hazards of environmental change - RIBA Trust Lecture: International Dialogues: Architecture and Climate Change. Royal Institute of British Architects, 21 October 2008.
2008-10-17
Climate change and its challenges for the international legal system - Lecture to the Annual Conference of the British Institute of International & Comparative Law. Brunei Gallery, Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, Friday 17 October 2008.
2007-01-24
Climate change: implications for security - A lecture to the Royal United Services Institute for Defence & Security Studies (RUSI) Conference on "Climate Change: The Global Security Impact". At RUSI, Whitehall, London; 24 January 2007. "Fears about climatic, change have replaced the equally apocalyptic fears of nuclear annihilation during the Cold War. It is therefore no wonder that military authorities have taken more interest in it than others who find it hard to come to grips with its complex implications. Yet not many governments have so far taken seriously the papers written by such people as the Pentagon or the British Ministry of Defence, and incorporated into their strategic planning ... ".
2005-07-21
The road to and from Kyoto (2) - Lecture to the South East Climate Change Partnership Annual Forum, the Langstone Hotel, Hayling Island, Hampshire. 7 July 2005.
2005-02-11
The road to and from Kyoto (1) - Lecture at Merton College, Oxford. 11 February 2005. "Change usually takes place for three main reasons. First through leadership from above by institutions or individuals; secondly through public pressure from below; and thirdly - however regrettably - through some useful catastrophes to jerk us out of our inertia into more sensible courses."
2005-02-03
Sustainability, global institutions and the human prospect - address to Address to the Millichap Peace Fund Quaker Group. Hereford, 3rd February 2005. "On the one hand we have the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank which are all institutions with real mechanisms for influencing government policy ... By contrast the 200 or more environmental agreements are dispersed and poorly coordinated, with different hierarchies of reference and accountability."
2004-07-06
The need for international rules - a lecture to the Royal United Services Institute for Defence & Security Studies, Whitehall, London; 6 July 2004.
2004-06-09
Catastrophes and global governance - Lecture to the Bristol Society. Bristol, 9 June 2004.
2004-04-30
Current Affairs and the UN Today - Speech to 6th formers, Westonbirt School, Tetbury, Gloucestershire, 30 April 2003.
2004-04-27
'Tide of feeling' unleashed on Iraq - article for BBC News Online by Alex Kirby, 27 April, 2004.
2004-04-27
I have never seen such despair among diplomats - opinion article in The Independent (London), 27 April 2004, following release of the Diplomats' Letter to Tony Blair, constructed from interview with Crispin Tickell.
2004-04-26
Letter to Tony Blair signed by 50 former ambassadors and senior envoys including Crispin Tickell, calling on Mr Blair to change his "doomed" policies on the Middle East. 26 April 2004
2004-01-15
Sustainability: the way forward - Lecture to the Scottish Council Foundation, Ramsay Garden Seminar Series, Edinburgh, 15 January 2004. "George Bush senior tried to reassure the American people by saying that no-one was going to change the American way of life. Apparently George Bush junior thinks the same. They are both dead wrong. North Americans must change their way of life, as we in Europe must change ours."
2003-12-03
Prospects for the United Nations after the Iraq war - "It is now around seven months since the official end of conventional hostilities in Iraq. Not unexpectedly a guerrilla war has followed. This is just one of the unfortunate effects of a war that was bad for multilateralism, bad for global governance and bad for the United Nations...". The Ada Benson Memorial Lecture, Oxford High School, 3 December 2003.
2003-08-23
Imagine... - a review of The Age of Consent: A Manifesto for a New World Order, by George Monbiot. Published in the Financial Times, August 23 2003. "This book is a polemic as well as a manifesto. It is an omelet of curate's eggs, some very good, some less good, all strong tasting and well presented. It should make people think; and as the author well says, if we do not like his ideas, then think of better ones. He believes that leaving things as they are is not a serious option. He makes his case."
2003-08-22
A darker future for our pale blue dot - a review of Our Final Century, by Martin Rees. Published in the Times Higher Education Supplement, 22 August 2003. "It was the first astronauts who saw the world, as Carl Sagan expressed it, as 'a pale blue dot' in the vastness of the universe. We need to remind ourselves every day that its care, and that of the people on it, now and to come, must be our absolute priority ... "
2003-07-23
The no-win madness of catch-22 subsidies - an analysis of the $2 trillion a year paid by taxpayers in perverse subsidies that defy economic rationality and cause immense human and environmental harm. Co written with Norman Myers. Published in the Financial Times, 28 July 2003. "The OECD countries account for two thirds of perverse subsidies, and the United States over one fifth. A typical British taxpayer pays at least 1,000 a year to fund perverse subsidies, then pays another 500 through increased prices for consumer goods and through environmental degradation... "
2003-05-03
The United Nations, multilateralism and the environment - St Edmund's College Law Society Lecture, Cambridge. CT describes how the US's diplomatic blundering over the Iraq War and its rejection of international treaties and concensus-building has damaged the UN - but not fatally. "As for the role of the United Nations and its agencies in dealing with the major issues of sustainability, climate change and protection of the environment, there is simply no other place or institution capable of organizing and promoting planetary action."
2003-02-06
Under the sun - a talk given to Watson International Scholars of the Environment at Brown University, USA, following the Johannesburg Summit. "Johannesburg was a meeting which in no way responded to the many threats facing the good health of the Earth as a whole. Nor did it suggest rational ways of coping with them..."
2003-02-05
Johannesburg and its aftermath - lecture to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
2001-12-19
Governance and the United Nations - a talk for the First National Conference of Student Pugwash UK, Wadham College, Oxford. "During the last ten years the image of the United Nations has changed like a tragi-comedy mask. At one moment it is all smiles. Next it is a grimace..."
2001-03-08
Risks of conflict - resource and population pressures - Linacre Lecture, University of Oxford. "Looking ahead at the prospects for conflict, we seem to be in for a bumpy ride. Violence within and between communities and between nation states could well increase. The precedents are all around us. It would be nave to expect otherwise, and we must be prepared for it..."
2000-12-00
Science, public policy and climate change - Interview with Sir Crispin Tickell by Barbara Geary of Rolex. "If the US persists in being the world's biggest polluter, then the rest of the world will have to consider introducing measures such as taxing US exports to compensate for the lack of a national emissions tax in the United States. "
2000-08-12
The future of governance - lecture delivered to Forum for the Future's "Humanity 3000" Symposium in Seattle.
2000-00-00
Economics for the Earth - review of "Eco-economy: Building an Economy for the Earth" by Lester R Brown, and "Human well-being and the natural environment" by Partha Dasgupta.
1997-03-25
The United Nations: pressures for change - a lecture to the Centro Argentino por Relaciones Internacionales, Buenos Aires. "After the ups and downs of the recent history of our two countries, it is heartening to see the blue helmets of Argentina and British troops together under the command of an Argentine general in Cyprus. The symbolism is almost too great for me. It reaches beyond Anglo-Argentine relations, beyond the problems of a divided island, and beyond peace keeping operations, all the way to the place of the United Nations itself in world affairs."
1992-06-30
The Earth Summit - Speech to the European Atlantic Group about the [then] recently concluded conference. "The most fundamental problem is unsustainable consumption of the Earth's resources, principally by and in industrial countries. In others the problem, exacerbated by population increase, is pressure on resources. We are a long way from measuring the consequences. They were seen very differently by the participants at Rio. On one side the industrial countries comforted themselves with the belief that environmental degradation was essentially a problem of the poor"
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