Public Lecture: Norman Myers, "The Lemming Drivers: Why Policy Processes Often Fail Us"

Past Event

13 February 2008, 1:00am

Magdalen College Lecture Theatre
Magdalen College Lecture Theatre - Longwall Street Entrance

Based on his forthcoming book entitled, "Institutional Roadblocks", Norman Myers' lecture will consider first and foremost the problems of the environment, which despite decades of efforts by governments, NGOs and other bodies, and despite many success stories, are growing worse. How can we get ahead of the game and prevent problems from becoming problems in the first place?

Policy failings are pervasive and proliferative. They induce us to engage in numerous activities that run counter to our long-term welfare. Many failings are due to such well known factors as political shortcomings, government inertia, business deficiencies, corporate oligarchies, scientific caution, myopia, ignorance (or ignore-ance), and lack of leadership - plus a lengthy list of other obstructive phenomena that can be categorized as institutional roadblocks.

Unless we can address these roadblocks, our best efforts to attain Sustainable Development will leave us trying to push an ever-larger rock up an even-steeper hill. Or, more graphically, we shall find ourselves heading lemming-like toward the edge of the cliff.

Myers is a renowned expert on systems ecology, resource economics, biodiversity, misconsumption perverse subsidies, and developing world poverty, with field experience in more than 50 countries. A more detailed biography is available here.

The Lecture will be Chaired by Sir Crispin Tickell, Director of the Policy Foresight Programme.

Tickets will also be available at the door.