Talking Stone Film

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Global businesses,
international co-operation and the striving for ideals, these are all possible
because for millennia, on a global scale,
nature has been largely predictable
and stable. Now in the space
of one human lifetime – indeed in the space of my
lifetime, all that has changed. The Holocene has ended.
The Garden of Eden is no more. The only conditions
modern humans have ever known, so far,
are changing and changing fast. It’s tempting and understandable
to ignore the evidence and carry on as usual or to be
filled with gloom and doom. But there is also a vast potential
for what we might do. We need to move beyond guilt
or blame and get on with the practical tasks in hand. If people can truly
understand what is at stake, I believe that they will give
permission to business and governments to get on
with the practical solutions. And as a species we are
expert problem-solvers. But we haven’t yet applied
ourselves to this problem with the focus that it requires. We can create a world
with clean air and water, unlimited energy
and fish stocks that will sustain us
well into the future. But to do that we need a plan. What we do now
and in the next few years will profoundly affect
the next few thousand years. I look forward very much
to the discussions and insights that will
go on here this week. And I thank you again
for this very great honour. [Applause]

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