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The second of this year's Reith Lectures, 'Surviving the Century', is now over. You can replay our live chat here in the this blog post. Do so while listening to the lecture itself. Many listeners joined in with the conversation about the lecture and its themes, here in the live chat, on Twitter (using the hashtag #Reith) and in email. Get the Reith lectures podcast here - you can download the lectures to listen to on your computer or MP3 player. It's free and you can keep them forever.

Now we'd like you to tell us what you thought of the lecture and its themes but also of the live chat itself - did it add anything to the experience for you? And if so, should we try this with other Radio 4 programmes - and which ones? Click 'comments' and leave yours. We'll be doing this again for the third lecture, next Tuesday 15 June at the same time (0900). In the meantime, we'll continue to scan the #Reith hashtag on Twitter and remember the Radio 4 Facebook page is also a good place for discussion of our programmes and web sites.

Steve Bowbrick is editor of the Radio 4 blog

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  • Comment number 107. Posted by reflector2

    on 29 Oct 2010 19:59

    This comment was removed because it broke the house rules. Explain

  • Comment number 106. Posted by reflector2

    on 29 Oct 2010 19:48

    This comment was removed because it broke the house rules. Explain

  • Comment number 105. Posted by Watersnake

    on 31 Aug 2010 11:17

    In one of the questions that was asked at the end of this lecture there was mention of "Human Nature". and I was surprised to see that there was no recognition of the unscientific nature of this assertion. Everything about humans is NURTURE, as we are influenced by our environment and experience. What is scientific, however, is the use of spin to manipulate human behaviour. Then we need to question the validity of that, for its implementation has nothing to do with science and everything to do with the profits of a very few to the detriment of the masses. In this light I would like to ask Lord Martin Rees if he had ever considered moving from a type 0 civilisation to a type 1, as suggested by Nuclear Physicist Michio Kaku.

    I would suggest that by getting rid of money - and it is only because of this that we use fossil fuels and refuse to acknowledge all the available free energy (because someone somewhere wants to make a profit) - we would then have the tools to move beyond this primitive way of thinking. It is the lazy man that finds the easiest way to do something. The idle mind comes up with the good ideas. When we remove the multiplicity of competition, the inefficiency and waste of stratification, then educate the population sufficiently to want to contribute, we will realise that all is manifest with resources and people who do things, and money was always a hindrance.

    We are well positioned to fully automate all necessities of the basic existence, and with intelligence, we can do it within the framework of the necessary dynamic equilibrium of the natural world. This eliminates scarcity and human effort thus eliminating the need for money. Eliminate money an all crime becomes irrelevant as all crime is about money. Greed is not about money it is about using money to do nothing. People who earn money and contribute nothing of substance are the proponents of this, and it is this that creates the envy and thus the greed.

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  • Comment number 104. Posted by Barnaby_Flynn

    on 2 Jul 2010 00:09

    Lord Martin Rees has effectively promoted Simpol, (the Simultaneous Policy) here by calling for global co-operation, the technical solutions exists to solve global problems but the politics isn't there, outside the box global thinking and open sourced procurement of solutions are necessary.

    Simpol Adopters worldwide are resolving the deadlock of international competition. They are driving governments to work together to solve global problems such as poverty, conflict and climate-change, by prioritising their votes for Simpol Pledged politicians. Developing and ultimately setting the global People’s Policy is through open participation. The only way is together.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • Comment number 103. Posted by wicki

    on 13 Jun 2010 08:47

    Democracy and the free market will be our downfall..its simply not up to the job.

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  • Comment number 102. Posted by idlerich67

    on 10 Jun 2010 11:14

    The biggest problem is population growth, which leads to resource depletion. until we reduce birth rates to below replacement rate everything done will ultimately be futile. in developed countries like the UK, if we spread out our cities and towns so every household had about ½-1 acre-2000-4000 m² of land we could all be largely self sufficient for food and water (this would take about 12% of the UK land area).

    Natural resources.
    there are still huge parts of the earth, boreal forests in the northern hemispheres, rain forests that must be preserved for long term low level sustainable resource extraction.
    any resources that are harvested must be restored or given time to renew before the next harvest, for example conifer forest, there should be laws that say only say 48% of trees are taken from any one area and then 100-200 years for regeneration.

    Work. reduce the standard work week to 16-30 hours, there would still be plenty left over for anyone who wanted/needed to do more.

    Energy. the only long term solution with enough energy density is solar power. only about 3% of the deserts surface area could provide all the energy we currently use. Perhaps some local tidal energy in suitable locations. Governments should immediately implement a cost study of these projects using the experts in the field.

    We should all be using electric vehicles by now. a few manufacturers are offering these. 75% of people work within 10-18 miles of where they live. so there is no reason to use the highly inefficient 4 stroke petroleum engine any more. make them 99% recyclable.
    have a separate network of paths for walking, cycling, skating or electric bikes.
    Make things to last, recycle and repair everything that we can. I still have an old bicycle that was my grandfathers that still works perfectly, most wooden things like tables and furniture can last for 1000 of years.

    Worldwide high speed rail network, but i'll leave the advantages this would bring and the possibilities this would bring to your own imagination.

    Change the system of exchange we use, money, which is currently based on nothing.

    This is just a small selection of ideas to make our communities better places for everyone to live. the only way this will happen is if people start to think for themselves rather than others to do it for them

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  • Comment number 101. Posted by Daveascott

    on 9 Jun 2010 20:59

    Human population growth is a major problem if current forcasts are anything like accurate. It is about time more people spoke out against the ignorant approach that the Catholic church has on contraception. This church thrives where ignorance and fear thrive. Educate people to see what the Catholic teachings really are: mystical nonsence designed to promote fear and ignorance

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  • Comment number 100. Posted by HantsCricketFan

    on 9 Jun 2010 12:32

    Can science save the Earth? Sort of.

    Greater dependency is on governments and politicians to provide funding and better regulation for long term sustainability. Government's need to get a grip of big business which continue to develop scientific advances which can benefit sustainable development and then withold them until a suitable price can be agreed. Whilst big businesses continue to dictate who lives and who dies in the interest of profit there is no hope. There also needs to be better regulation of scientific development so that the findings and methodology are transparent, and scientific advancement is not only made for the securing of further funding or to support the policies and views of lobby groups who provide the funding. If science is to work it has to be objective and free from political interference. Government's need to provide better funding to 3rd world countries as a greater living standard provides a longer life expectency and lower infant mortality which in return reduces the requirement for large families in countries like India and China. The results of this may not be seen for generations however. Global agreement MUST be reached on the future of sustainable development, and in particular the US has to (and I can't stress that enough) be strong enough to withstand the pressure of lobby groups and republicans who continue to either disbelieve the requirement for action or who place economic and business priorities higher on the agenda. Finally we need to move away from a fatalistic approach to science. I don't know whether or not climate change is man-made but quite frankly it's irrelevant. What I keep hearing however is that we are "at a turning point" or the "point of no return", when in reality this is simply the secular equivalent of the bible-believers who since the middle ages went and sat on mountain tops waiting for the ascention because they believed the end is nigh. It's not. We need to act but in a measured considered way which holds minimal risk but in order for science to work, so must government.

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  • Comment number 99. Posted by Rob

    on 9 Jun 2010 11:23

    95. At 10:52am on 09 Jun 2010, mostly_harmless wrote:
    Don't get me wrong, I am a real follower of science but, questions have to be asked sometimes. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has cost an astronomical amount of money and for what exactly ?
    -----------------------------------------------------------

    It's spent on 7TeV particle collisions.

    It is there for future research and understanding of subatomic particles. With this knowledge we hope to advance our understanding of the subatomic.
    This goes hand in hand with our understand of the super-vast, and we will be simultaenously be looking to discover what is Dark Matter, what is Dark Energy, is there a Higgs Boson?

    When we have answers to these questions, we'll be able to construct a grand unified theory of everything. Equations that work on subatomic scales as well as galatic scales.

    Using that, we'll be able to create lots of more phyiscs predictions which will herald a new era of science. Like when Einstein postulated that e=mc^2. That equation predicted fission/fusion energies. From it, we got nuclear power stations, nuclear weapons, understanding of the basic engine of a star, etc.

    Isn't a Grand Theory of Everything worth a few billion?

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  • Comment number 98. Posted by Martin Q Blank

    on 9 Jun 2010 10:24

    I'm not the first to say that there's no need to worry about the planet. It will survive us whatever we do.

    We will be able to resolve many problems, depending on the level of our necessity, using existing technology. It is often just the political or financial will that is required to reach a solution. In future vast costs, both financial and human, will be incurred and the world's population will necessarily reduce as we reach the limits of resources. But some, probably the wealthier and more powerful, will survive.

    But technology is not Science. Technology exploits what we know and Science adds to it. Despite the perception, Science, as opposed to Technology, is less efficient now than it has ever been. It now consumes billions and employs millions who are mainly concerned will advancing their careers at the cost of their curiosity and integrity. Rees' own area of cosmology is a case in point. It is now the province of increasingly esoteric mathematics and speculation. It stopped being science when it made theory senior to observation and it has given us nothing useful for a hundred years. Someone outside the field really should take a look at it.

    Those who try to criticise it are labelled 'cranks' and unqualified to comment. This is rather like a priesthood and Rees demonstrated in his lecture how he and his peers use ridicule to disarm their enemies.

    There may well be solutions to all problems we face but I doubt we'll find them as long as consensus rules science and money, allocated via peer review, decides what questions it is allowed to ask.

    By ceasing to look and turning their attention to preserving their flawed explanations of the cosmos, Rees and his colleagues are betraying us all.

    Maybe Science could solve our problems but it won't unless we subject it to the scrutiny it desperately needs.

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