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Horizon narrows, can we
tunnel through?
Elies Molins
Research Professor at ICMAB-CSIC
President of API-CSIC
Member of the EC of the FMTS-WFSW
Cosmocaixa (Barcelona), May 12th, 2015
What there is?
• We are populating a planet with a whole
surface of 510.000.000 km2, about 70%
covered by oceans.
• The solar constant on Earth is assumed to
be 1367 W/h. So, on surface we have on
about 3-5 kWh/day.
Living force
The living organisms retain 200 billion tons of carbon
Photosynthesis took lot of time in converting the
atmosphere as it is. The carbon was fixed as
coal, petroleum and natural gas. We have
started to reverse the process!
Impact of human activity
Full discussion by Gus Speth
• “If we could speed time, it
would seem as if the global
economy is crashing
against the earth”
• “Today’s environmentalism
has proven insufficient to
deal with current
• “The economic system fails
to seek transformative
Market, growth, consumption
The Adoration of the Golden Calf by Nicolas Poussin
• Prices must achieve
environmentally honest
• Endless economic growth
does not increase human
• Fiscal paradises
accumulate 17 trillion
US$ (our Golden Calf)
• Corporations encourage
Driving a transformation
• A new conciousness: social values, culture
and worldviews. Green consumption and
living more simply.
• A new politics: promoting equality and
sustainability. People concerned.
• Corporations must turn towards looking for
the ‘common goods’.
• Summarizing: Can we overcome our inertia?
Horizon is narrowing…