A scientist’s monologue

Theatre>> Climate Change • The UK

Published: Monday 30 November -0001

imageThere has been a highly successful run at the Royal Court Theatre in London, not of a play in the usual form but a lecture by Stephen Emmott, who leads Microsoft’s Computational Science Laboratory in Cambridge university. The play, Ten Billion, offers a dossier of evidence about the perils of spiralling populations that may rise to this number by the end of the century.

“I’m a scientist, not an actor,” Emmott declares at the start, and that is proven within minutes as he delivers his lecture in a replica of his office. “I was at one time sceptical about global warming... but now there seems to me little room for doubt that humanity is in a severe predicament, both from the aspect of resource depletion and treating the planet like a giant landfill tip,” says the 52-year-old, putting forth sheer facts and figures before the audience. “So can we do anything to halt the devastation that lies ahead?” Emmott asks as he reaches the end of his show. “In truth, I think we are already fucked,” is his answer.

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