What is the Indian equivalent of TED

People follow their options in the cities. And that is the reason. I once had a very romantic idea of ​​villages, precisely because I had never lived in one. (Laughter) Because in the city - here in the busy, informal settlement of Kibera, near Nairobi - you see movement. You see opportunities. They see a money economy that they could not participate in at home on the subsistence farm. If you look around these places, you can see a lot of aesthetics. There is always a lot going on. They are poor, but they are very urban. And they are very creative. The totals now show that informal settlers, basically, the whole billion of them, are building an urban world, they are building the world - personally, piece by piece, family by family, clan by clan, neighborhood by neighborhood. They start out poorly and grow large over time. They even built their own infrastructure. At first they stole their own infrastructure. Cable TV, water, the whole spectrum, everything is stolen. And then gradually upgraded. It is not true that slums undermine prosperity, not the functioning slums; they enable prosperity. A city like Mumbai, which consists of half slums, generates one sixth of India's GDP. Social capital in the slums is at best urban and densely populated. These people are valuable as a group. And that's how they work. There are many people who think of all of these poor people, "Oh, all these awful things. Let's fix their shelters." So far it has been said, "You need telephone companies." Now they are showing us how to do their own phone service. Famine is now primarily a rural phenomenon. There are things that are important to them. And that's where we can help. And the nations affected can help. And they help each other to solve these problems. If you go to a densely built-up place like this slum in Mumbai and look at this path on the right, you can ask yourself, "Okay, what's going on here?" The answer is, "Everything." That's better than a mall. It's a lot denser. It's a lot more interactive. And the scale is incredible. The main thing is that these people are not crushed by poverty. These people are busy getting out of poverty as fast as they can. They help each other. They do that through an illegal cause, the informal economy. The informal economy is a bit like dark energy in astrophysics: it shouldn't be there, but it's huge. We don't yet know how it works, but we have to. In addition, in the informal economy, people in the shadow economy - over time - experience crimes happening around them. And they can become part of the criminal world or part of the lawful world. We should be able to make it easier for them to choose the legitimate world, because if we don't, they will become part of the criminal world. There are all kinds of activities. In Dharavi, the slum not only provides many services for itself, but also many services for the entire city. And one of the main events is the makeshift schools. Parents pool their money to hire local teachers for a private, small, unofficial school. Education is more feasible in the cities, and that changes the world. You see some interesting, typical, urban things. One next to the other, like here in Sao Paulo. This is how cities work. This is how they create value by bringing things together. In this case supply next to demand. The domestic workers, gardeners and guards who live in this lively part of the city, here on the left, run to work in the boring, rich district. The proximity is incredible. We experience how close proximity can be. The degree of networking between town and country will keep the country alive because the city has interesting approaches. This is what makes cities - (applause) that is what makes cities in developing countries so ecological. People are leaving the poverty trap, the ecological disaster of a subsistence farm, and moving to the city. And when they leave, the natural environment comes back very quickly. And those who remained in the village can now slowly collect harvests to send food to the growing markets in the city. So if you want to save a village, you can do it with a good road or cell phone connection, and ideally a good power grid. The fact is: we are a city-planet. That's just how it is. About half. The numbers are remarkable. One billion now live in informal cities. Another billion is expected. That's over a sixth of humanity who lives in a certain way. And that will determine a lot of how we function. For us environmentalists, perhaps the most ecological thing about cities is that they disperse the population bomb. People are moving to the city. You immediately have fewer children. You don't have to get rich. The very possibility of advancement means that they will have fewer, higher-skilled children and the birth rate will drop radically. There's a very interesting side effect, here's a slide by Philip Longman showing what's going on. Just as we have more and more old people, like me, and fewer and fewer babies - and that still regionally separated - you get a world with old people and old cities that do things the old way in the north. And young people in brand new cities inventing new things in the south. What do you think where the activity will be? Change of subject. We briefly consider the climate. The news about the climate is, unfortunately, always worse than we think, faster than we think. The climate is a deeply complex, non-linear system full of uncontrollably positive feedback, hidden thresholds and irreversible turns. Here are just a few examples. We are always surprised. And almost all surprises will be bad. From your point of view, this means a sharp increase in climate refugees in the coming decades, and associated with this are resource wars and the chaos of war, as we are experiencing in Darfur. This is what drought leads to. It reduces the capacity, there is no sufficient biological absorption capacity to take care of the people. And then you get into trouble. Let's switch to the power supply. You need base load power to power a city, or an urban planet. So far there are only three sources of base load electricity: coal, some gases, nuclear and water. Of these, only nuclear and hydropower are ecological. Coal causes the climate problems. And everyone will keep burning it because it's so cheap until governments make it more expensive. Wind and solar do not help because we have not yet been able to store this energy. With maximum utilization of hydropower, because with coal we lose the climate, and with nuclear energy, the low-carbon energy source, the climate can perhaps be saved. And if at some point we have good solar power plants in space, that could help too. Because that drives prosperity in developing countries, in the villages and in the cities. So, coal and nuclear energy: let's compare their waste products. If all of the electricity you use while you were alive was nuclear, all of your waste would fit in a Coke can. A coal-fired power station burns 80 wagons of coal per day, a normal 1 gigawatt coal-fired power station, each wagon weighing 100 tons. And it emits 18,000 tons of CO2 into the air. So if you compare the lifetime emissions of these different forms of energy, nuclear is roughly the same as solar and wind energy, and before solar energy - with water and wind, before solar energy. And does nuclear power really compete with coal? Just ask the miners in Australia. Here you can see something from the source, not from my fellow conservationists, but from the people who feel threatened by nuclear energy. The good news is that developing countries, but frankly the whole world, are busy building nuclear power plants. It's good for the atmosphere. It is good for their prosperity. I want to highlight one interesting thing, which is that environmentalists like so-called mini-power plants. It's supposed to be local solar, wind, and cogeneration, and good things like that. But micro-reactors that are being developed will be even better. The Russians, who have started, are building floating reactors for their new passage, where the ice is melting, in the north of Russia. And they are selling these floating reactors, with only 35 megawatts, to developing countries. Here is the design of an early Toshiba model. It is interesting e.g. B. take a 25 megawatt, 25 million watt, and compare it to the normal large iron power plant of a standard Westinghouse or Ariva, which has 1.2, 1.6 billion watts. These things are much smaller. You are much more versatile. Here is an American design from the Lawrence Livermore Lab. Here is another American design that came from Los Alamos and is now freely available. Almost all of them are not only small, they are resistant to proliferation. They are usually buried in the ground. And innovation is progressing very quickly. Microreactors are important for the future. In terms of proliferation, nuclear energy has done more to degrade nuclear weapons than any other activity. And so 10% of the electricity in this room, maybe 20% of the electricity in this room, is nuclear. Half of this comes from dismantled warheads from Russia, to which our dismantled warheads will soon be added. So I would like to see the GNI program developed by the Bush administration move forward aggressively. And I was so happy to see President Obama endorsing the nuclear fuel bank strategy when he spoke in Prague last week. Another subject. From my point of view as a biologist, genetically modified crops have no reason to be controversial. My fellow environmentalists were irrational, unscientific and very damaging on this issue. Despite their best efforts, genetically modified crops are the fastest successful agricultural innovation in history. They're good for the environment because they enable no-till farming that leaves the earth in place and gets healthier every year - it also means less CO2 from the soil gets into the atmosphere. They reduce the use of pesticides.And they increase the yield, which enables you to reduce your agricultural area, which frees up more wilderness. Incidentally, this map from 2006 is obsolete because it still shows Africa under the thumb of Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth Europe, and they are in the process of breaking away from it. And biotechnology is finally developing very quickly in Africa. It is a moral question. The Nuffield Council on Bioethics met twice on this topic and said it was a moral imperative to make genetically modified plants accessible. Speaking of commandments, geoengineering is now off-limits, especially in government circles, even though a DARPA meeting was held about it a few weeks ago, but that will land on your table - not this year, but very soon, because there are some hard realizations to come. This is a list of them. Basically, the news is getting more and more terrifying. There will be incidents such as 35,000 people dying from a heat wave, which happened some time ago. For example, that hurricanes rush to Bangladesh. Like wars for water, like on the Indus. And when these events happen, we will say, "What can we really do about it?" But there is this little problem with geoengineering: which agency decides who should develop? How much should you do? Where should you do it? Since everyone is downstream, everything happens in the slipstream. And if we make it completely taboo, we can lose humanity. But if we just say, "Well, China, you are concerned, you are moving forward. You are going your and we are our way in geoengineering." Then it would be considered an act of war by both nations. So here comes a very interesting diplomacy. It's a lot more practical than people think. Here is an example that climatologists are very fond of, one of dozens of geoengineering ideas. This was caused by the sulfur dioxide from the Pinatubo volcano in 1991 - it cooled the earth by half a degree. There was so much ice in the following year, 1992, that there was a "record yield" of polar bear cubs known as pinatubo cubs. Bringing sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere would cost roughly a billion dollars a year. It's nothing compared to all the other things we can try about energy. To simply show another example: This machine is supposed to increase the reflectance of ocean clouds by atomizing ocean water; that would brighten the reflectance of the entire planet. That would be nice, because it can happen in many small ways in many small places by copying the early Amazon Indians who made good agricultural soils by decomposing and smoldering plant debris; and biochar binds large amounts of carbon while improving the soil. So here we are. The climatologist and Nobel Prize winner Paul Crutzen calls our geological age the Anthropocene, the human-dominated era. We are clinging to their commitments. In the Whole Earth Catalog, my first words were, "We are like gods and we should be good at them." The first words of Whole Earth Discipline are, "We are like gods and we must get good at them." Thanks. (Applause)