Q&A TED Conversations

Exclusive Q&A from the TED stage: Paul Gilding and Peter Diamandis debate

Posted by: Emily McManus

Is the Earth maxed out, or should we be optimistic abut being able to solve our future? At TED2012 last week, Paul Gilding made the case for the former, and Peter Diamandis argued for the latter. And then: they debated onstage. Watch the video above to find out what happened.

Want to talk about it too? Paul Gilding just started a TED Conversation to continue the debate. Join the conversation >>

Comments (27)

  • Robert Gahtan commented on Oct 9 2012

    Perhaps the most valuable outcome of this talk came during the last ten seconds of the Q & A. It is evident that a substantial portion of the audience is unaware of the challenge that energy and resource depletion create. That same portion have faith in magical thinking. Gilding therefore needs to do more than assert that the “earth is full”. He needs to bring forth the evidence that clearly shows that it is.

    For those who are aware that the global catastrophe has already started, The need is clarity about what groups and organizations have the power to impact the entire world with their decisions. It is romantic and delusionary to think that the inventor in his/her garage with help from venture capitalists, incubators, Kickstarters and the internet can achieve the kind of change required

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  • Grant Robertson commented on Aug 7 2012

    The first use for new technology should be education. Computer-based-education is cheaper to deliver than any other commodity… IF it is delivered in a store and forward manner so that broad-band internet connections do not need the capacity to handle all seven billion of us studying at the same time. Computing devices that are at least powerful enough for basic educational content delivery will very soon be cheaper than simple cell phones which are already almost ubiquitous. Just as you explain how reducing the cost of processing water to far less than the cost to transport it thus eliminates the need to provide water in many areas: Education eliminates the need to provide a large portion of all that other “stuff” because countries will learn how to make their own using their own resources, whether it be energy, or food, or televisions. But the most important thing that education does, as you say, is reduce the population. It is the first, cheapest, fastest way to bring about the abundance you envision.

    One of the first uses for this wave of education should be to teach people about the issues creating the crisis you speak about, how to prepare for it, and hopefully, mitigate the worst of the problems. As you say, we can learn to live within our means, but that takes … well … learning, by everyone, everywhere – all seven billion of us.

    In the end, education is almost always the solution to the world’s problems. Not just an education campaign about one particular issue. Not just a mediocre, fifth-grade education for a larger – but still miniscule – subset of the population. But real-live, complete, college, masters, and doctoral level education for all seven billion people on the planet. It can be done.

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  • Myfanwy Dabner commented on May 27 2012

    The crux is how to do this in steps and not too soon and not too late. It is also about a whole web of areas to be reformed. People around the world can be working on a variety of areas. Some people love fixing problems. What people change now will be changed again in the future. Industrialisation explosion and population explosion can now rest a little. Era of responsibility, rights, and refinement.

    Government and corporations need to be trusted and lobbied.

    Get people on side.

    Workers in fossile fuels will need work in the future. Get these people working in sustainable industries.
    University Students, in environmental design architecture may need to have a good part of their qualification in sustainability.

    • Myfanwy Dabner commented on May 27 2012

      Government and corporations are run by people who may be hiding behind closed doors. Not great behaviour from leaders.
      People can still knock on their doors and put trust in them to do their best.

  • commented on May 27 2012

    Reblogged this on Beesenette and commented:

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  • Teddia Ted commented on Mar 17 2012

    I think this short clip is about profits versus environment, and how we should keep the balance before the fast technologies invent our way out of our coming crisis, imaginary or fundamental reality. We need to get all the energy as much as possible to face the immediate or foreseeable challenge. The question is how to get gov to protect nature and keep the balance in the game of profit verses environment in the developed and developing countries.Gov of course is a big player in this game. Some say the very idea to govern
    comes from parents govern the children. As common sense and common practice
    as it is today however it’s difficult to reform/update your parents if you are a child or childish. Maturity is the key when you don’t have a good neighbor’s support or footstep to follow somewhere. Maturity and neighbor meant the intellectuals and their associates. You need both updated parents and matured dudes all in one society that work best for you. Btw the debate is fun and the host is cute:)

    • charles corcho commented on Jun 30 2012

      Brother We Are The Government.