The human future - a lecture to the Areces Foundation Symposium on Lynn Margulis. Madrid, 12 / 13 November 2012.
Neandertal thoughts - A review of How to think like a Neandertal? by Thomas Wynn and Frederick L Coolidge Oxford University Press 2012: 210pp. Published in the Financial Times on 4 February 2012.
The theory of evolution: 150 years afterwards (short version) - A lecture to the Institute for Catalan Studies, Barcelona: 29 October 2008.
People and rainforests - speech to the International Rangers Federation 5th World Congress: People & Place: the natural connection. Stirling University,16 June 2006.
Marine futures - Address to the Foresight Marine Panel Workshop on Future Marine Risks and Opportunities. The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology, 16 March 2005. "Oceans occupy over 70 percent of the surface of the Earth, and are in many respects less understood than the surface of the Moon. They are the source of all life, and in different ways all life depends on them. They are part of the single self-regulating system, comprised of physical, chemical, biological and even human elements, which makes up the Earth we know. In the most profound sense, their health is our health ... "
Backwards in time - review of The Ancestor's Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Life, by Richard Dawkins (September 2004). Published in The Literary Review, November 2004.
Earth beware: climate change, sustainability, and the human prospect - Lecture to the Department of Earth Sciences' "Earth Aware" Conference. The Open University, 15 September 2004.
Pity the poor elephants! - book review: The Retreat of the Elephants: An Environmental History of China by Mark Elvin. Yale University Press: 2004. Published in Nature, 29 July 2004.
Climate change and the variety of life - a lecture delivered at the Botanical Gardens, Edinburgh, 14 April 2004, as part of the Edinburgh Science Festival. "the price of sticking to our present system of values and not adapting to new ones is intolerably high. So far all past urban civilizations - some 30 of them - have crashed. None over time learned how to reach a well-regulated steady state with population in balance with natural resources. There is no reason to believe that ours is any different. Indeed current signs are to the contrary ... ".
Religion and the environment - Lecture delivered to 'The Earth our Destiny' conference, Portsmouth Cathedral. "Environment is the stuff of religion, and religion is the stuff of the environment. Their relationship once went without saying. Yet we live at a time when they are being prised apart ... "
The future: prospects, hazards and opportunities - lecture to the BAAS Annual Conference at the University of Leicester. "Implicit in much human thinking is the idea of progress; but it is wiser to talk about continuity of change. In terms of both human society and evolution generally, there are processes of improvement and degradation, of greater and lesser complexity, of new departures and endings, none with certain directions..."
Sustainability and conservation: prospects for Johannesburg - lecture to the Society for Conservation Biology Conference at the University of Kent at Canterbury, on the prospects for the [then] forthcoming Johannesburg Summit; 15 July 2002.
Whither the future - review of "The Future of Life" by Edward O Wilson, and "Future Evolution - an illuminated history of life to come" by Peter Ward. Financial Times.
Something new under the sun - review of Something New Under the Sun - An Environmental History of the Twentieth Century, by John McNeill. "For once there is something new under the sun. Up to now there has been a precedent for most things: population explosions of particular plants or animals; periodical extinctions; changes in soil fertility; rapid global cooling and rapid global warming; even impacts of objects from outer space. But in the history of life ... there has been nothing like the impact of one animal species - our own - on the condition of the earth, and most of it within a single century ... "
A tract for our times - review of Edward O Wilson's "Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge".