Nobel Laureates Eric Chivian & Mario Molina on Global Environmental Issues 2003


[MUSIC PLAYING] GRAY: I’m Paul Gray, professor
of electrical engineering and President Emeritus. And it is my great pleasure
to welcome all of you this evening to the fifth
Ford Motor Company MIT Nobel Laureate Lecture. The Ford Motor Company
has sponsored now four– this is the third year– these lectures. And we are much appreciative
of that support. As you know from the
program announcement, our subject tonight is
global environmental issues, effects on the atmosphere
and the biosphere. Our first speaker is
Professor Mario Molina. Professor Molina is an
Institute professor at MIT. If you’re not familiar
with that title, there are, at any one time,
fewer than 12 individuals who are elected by
their faculty peers to be Institute professors. And they have the freedom
of the house, so to speak. They are no longer confined
to a department or a school, but may pursue their interests,
wherever it leads them. Professor Molina
came to MIT in 1989 with joint appointments in
the department of chemistry and in the department of
earth, atmospheric, and other planetary sciences. He shared the 1995
Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work on the
chemistry of the ozone layer and the effect of
CFCs, Chlorinated Chlorofluorocarbons,
on the ozone layer. His interests now
involve the chemistry of air pollution of
the lower atmosphere– in particular, the problems
of rapidly growing cities. And those of you who
have traveled recently to Mexico City or
Bangkok or Beijing will know what that problem is. I should announce, if you didn’t
see it in Tech Talk today, that Professor Molina was a
recipient of the Heinz Award just a few days ago for his work
in understanding and mitigating effect, mitigating
effects, on air pollution, and advocating changes
in public policy as they bear on air pollution. Our second speaker tonight
is Professor Eric Chivian. Dr. Chivian was co-founder
of the organization called International Physicians for
the Prevention of Nuclear War, an organization formed
some 20 years ago, about the time Dr.
Chivian joined the MIT staff as a physician in
our medical department. That group, the organization,
received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. Dr. Chivian is now director
of the Center for Health and Global Environment at
the Harvard Medical School. And his interests include
the human health consequences of habitat degradation,
species extinction, and biodiversity loss. Now, our plan for this program
is that each of our speakers will speak for some
time at the lectern. And when they are both finished,
they will move to the table. And we will entertain
questions from the audience. Please join me in welcoming
Professor Molina and Dr. Chivian. [APPLAUSE] MOLINA: Thank you. [INAUDIBLE] Thank you. Thank you very much,
Professor Gray, for your kind introduction. It’s a pleasure for
me to be here tonight as part of this Ford MIT
Nobel Laureate Lecture Series and to share the podium with
my colleague, Eric Chivian. I would also like to thank
all of you for being here in spite of the weather
we have tonight. Maybe I’m presumptuous
and you’re all here because you got
trapped with the snow. [LAUGHTER] But I’m an optimist. I want to talk tonight about
global environmental issues. So let me start with this
overview of the sort of issues that we are concerned about. These are just examples. What I want to point out is
we have two types of issues. Depletion of natural
resources– that includes issues such as loss
of biodiversity, and so on, disposal
of hazardous waste, water pollution, air
pollution, and so on. But we have another set of
issues that I label global. And what’s happening is that the
first set of issues we normally consider to be
local or regional. What has been happening
in recent years is that these
problems are happening in so many places on our
planet that they are beginning to acquire global proportions. The second set of issues
are truly global in scope because they’re
consequences of changes in the composition
of the atmosphere, truly on a global scale. So I’m going to say a few
words about these aspects of environmental problems that
have to do with the atmosphere. I think Eric will talk,
perhaps, more about some of the biological effects. To put that in perspective– show you this picture of
our planet from space. We’re dealing with
the atmosphere. And what you really
see from the atmosphere itself is just the clouds. The atmosphere is
transparent, as you know. But the point I
want to make here– it’s very thin. It’s like the skin of an apple. And that’s why, on the scale
of human activities, it– we can explain how is it that
we are changing the composition of this very important system. Another reason why
this is happening is that there are certain
components of the atmosphere that we label trace gases
that are present in parts per million or even parts
per billion levels, very small amounts. But those are the ones that
have important consequences for the behavior of
the atmosphere itself. The bulk constituents,
nitrogen and oxygen, are fairly inert in many of
these physical and chemical respects. So I’m going to start talking
about one of those problems that relates to a layer of the
atmosphere that we cannot see here, which is the stratosphere. Before that, I want to point out
another feature of this skin, if you want, this
very thin layer, and it is the
timescales for mixing. There are certain
chemical compounds that, when released
to the atmosphere, are very rapidly removed
from the atmosphere by the cleansing
mechanism that we have. Many of them are related
to the presence of clouds. For example, rain
removes many pollutants. There are, however,
other compounds that last days, months, or
even years in the atmosphere. The timescale for mixing
within each hemisphere is of the order of months. That means if you release some
compounds that are sufficiently stable to remain in the
atmosphere for months of years, they will be rapidly mixed
within each hemisphere. Mixing between the
two hemispheres takes a little longer. The timescales are
between a year or two. So let me move on
to this problem– whoops– this problem that– the first one that
I will deal with, which has to do with the ozone
layer that our planet has. What we have here is just
a typical ozone profile that shows
concentrations of ozone as a function of altitude. And also on this
ozone layer is– exists in the
stratosphere, which is the second layer above
the earth’s surface. The troposphere is below. As I just mentioned, mixing
in the troposphere occurs in– pretty fast– horizontally,
a timescale of months. But the same thing happens
on the vertical scale mix. If you release species close
to the Earth’s surface, it only takes weeks
or months for them to be rapidly mixed
throughout the troposphere. But in the stratosphere,
mixing occurs much more slowly. And that’s because
temperature increases with altitude in
the stratosphere, whereas it decreases with
altitude in the troposphere. That’s why as you go
to higher altitudes– gets colder and colder. So consequence of those
temperature profiles is these timescales for mixing. Now, we worry a lot
about the ozone layer because it has several
very important functions– one, in fact, I just
mentioned, the fact that temperature
increases with altitude and sets up the properties
of the atmosphere. That’s a consequence of the
presence of ozone, which, by the way, is one of those
trace constituents I just alluded to. It’s present only at parts
per million levels, just a trace amount. Ozone is a very
unstable species. But its presence there– the consequences to give
this increasing temperature profile– and that’s because ozone
absorbs ultraviolet radiation from the sun that
would otherwise reach the earth’s
surface and have very important biological effects. Some of that
ultraviolet radiation, at wavelengths between about
290 and 320 nanometers, what we call biologically UVB,
or the biologically active ultraviolet region– that penetrates to the
surface, to some extent, depending on how much
ozone you have overhead. But the point is that this
is a very important component of a huge natural system. Now, what we have learned
just in the past few decades– the research I started with
my colleague, Sherrie Rollins, in the 1970s is that there are
certain industrial compounds that we know as CFCs,
chlorofluorocarbons. These compounds are not natural. They were developed industrially
to replace toxic compounds, like sulfur dioxide and ammonia,
for uses such as refrigeration. And they have several
sets of properties. One is that they can
be readily converted from liquids to vapors. And that’s what you
need in a refrigerator. They are also useful to make,
for example, plastic foam, like the one you’re sitting
on, or as propellants in spray cans. All these uses require,
then, this conversion of a liquid to a
vapor, and vice versa. Second property is they are
relatively simple to make, and hence relatively cheap. And that’s why they could be
manufactured in large amounts industrially. But the third property,
which is also very important, is that they are
chemically very inert. You can even breathe them. In contrast to the
gases they’ve replaced, like ammonia and sulfur
dioxide, you can breathe them, like you do when
you use a spray can, or at least that’s what used
to be the case in the past. Now, what we
suggested in the 1970s is that the use of
these gases would have important consequences,
which are summarized in this cartoon here. What happens– because of
the chemical stability, these compounds are not removed
by these natural cleansing properties that
the atmosphere has. They not soluble
in rain, and so on. But they can actually
move to the stratosphere. This is– mixing here
just takes a few months. But here, it takes
several years. And eventually, when they
move above the ozone layer, they find the type of
radiation that the ozone layer itself shields. And that’s what breaks
the molecules apart, releasing very reactive
compounds that we call free radicals and, for
an amplification factor, catalytic cycles. They can indeed
affect ozone levels. So a single chlorine atom can
actually destroy many tens of thousands of ozone molecules. And that’s why even if you
have only parts per billion levels of CFCs or
of these compounds, you can have significant
effects on ozone. So this was a prediction
in the early 1970s. Many experiments
were carried out. And eventually, it became
clear that something indeed was happening to the ozone layer. And of all places, where the
effects were most spectacular happened to be over
Antarctica, as far as possible from the sources. These compounds
were mostly released in the Northern Hemisphere. And what we have here is
a normal-looking ozone profile, very similar
to the one I just showed you a few minutes ago. And that was measured with
balloons early in the spring. The light was just coming out
in this year over Antarctica after the long polar night. And on a timescale of
a couple of months, you could see that you develop
this [? breadth ?] profile. Maybe at some altitudes, more
than 99% of the ozone was gone. So this is the consequence of
these type of catalytic cycles. I was mentioning it. And these altitudes
coincide with the presence of polar stratospheric clouds. I won’t have time to go into the
details of the chemistry that are very, very interesting. But let me just point out that
this very spectacular effect occurs mostly at
high latitudes– also, of course,
over the Arctic, although perhaps not
quite as spectacular. But it became clear
that ozone was being depleted not just over
the poles, but at mid-latitudes as well. And what happens– what happened
as a consequence of these findings and the scientific
community working together and making a very
strong scientific case– namely, that the
CFCs were decomposing in the stratosphere and, in
turn, decomposing ozone– there were some international
agreements called the Montreal Protocol, first enacted in
1987, but then strengthened. That led to a total ban in the
industrial production of CFCs by the end of 1995,
this ban happening only in the
industrialized countries, but even somewhat longer
time table for the developing countries to eventually
ban the CFCs as well. So this is the first instance of
a truly international agreement that we believe has
actually worked. And we can show that here. This is a set of measurements
from one of the CFCs, CFC-11, by this ALE/GAGE
program, which is coordinated by my colleague, Ron
Prinn, and the EAPS department. And you can see here this
very rapidly industrial growth of industrial production
of these compounds lead to increasing atmospheric
concentrations of these compounds
until it became clear that the Montreal Protocol
was going to take effect. And around this time,
then, industry essentially stopped producing
these compounds except for these smaller amounts
in the developing countries. And so you could see how it’s– the concentration is
slowly coming down. What happens is it will
take quite a few decades for these concentrations
to come down because of the stability
of these compounds implies that they will
remain in the atmosphere for many decades. Because of this, we do
not expect the ozone layer to recover immediately. It would take
several decades more before we see, for
example, the ozone hole over Antarctica disappear. But anyhow, this
turning around in what is a global property of the
atmosphere, a consequence of an international agreement–
this is the first instance that we have of such an impact. I’ll come back briefly to
this problem if I have time. But first, I want to
discuss briefly yet another problem, which has
to do with climate change and perhaps make some analogies
with the problem of ozone depletion. And the problem of
climate change– we’re worried about
it also because the chemical composition
of the atmosphere is changing, truly,
on a global scale. The problem has to do with the
energy balance of our planet. And what we know that
happens in terms of energy is that our planet receives
energy from the sun. But it’s essentially
a steady state– has been so for
millions of years. It loses essentially the
same amount of energy as it receives from the sun. And those amounts of
energy in this chart here are represented
by the areas under these curves, which
have to do with intensity of the radiation as a function
of wavelength, or color, or if you want. So we receive energy from
the sun, a good fraction of which is invisible. That’s why our vision developed
to have maximum sensitivity for visible light. But our planet loses this energy
at much longer wavelengths in the ultraviolet. Now, I have here several
equations which I will not explain in much detail. But I put them here
for historical reasons. These equations– those of you
that are physicists or chemists or engineers will
probably recognize them– they were developed at the
beginning of the 20th century. They were extremely important. There was a
revolution in physics that led to the development
of quantum mechanics and so on that names such as
Albert Einstein or Max Planck are associated with
these equations. So they have an enormous impact
on the development of science. But it just so happens
that Planck’s equation also describes the shape
of these curves. So this is very
fundamental science. And in principle, we
can use these equations to predict what should be the
temperature of our planet. All we have to know is how much
energy we receive from the sun, how far is our
planet from the sun, and essentially, also,
the color of our planet. And if we do this, realizing
the sun is around 5,700 degrees [? Centigrade, ?] we calculate
that the earth should be at minus 18 degrees
[? Centigrade. ?] Again, these are very
fundamental equations. In principle, there’s
nothing wrong with them. But there’s something
wrong with the number. If we really have an
average temperature in our planet of minus 18,
the oceans would be frozen. We wouldn’t be here. So there’s something that
requires explanation. But as experimental–
is we can see what else is going on in our solar system. The moon, on the average,
is about the same distance from the sun as the earth. And indeed, the
moon, on the average, is at minus 18 degrees
[? Centigrade. ?] So the calculation
was all right. However, if you look a
little bit more in detail, it turns out that
on the sunny side, the moon is about 100 degrees
[? Centigrade ?] on the dark side at minus 140 degrees
[? Centigrade. ?] So on the average, it’s
indeed minus 18. [LAUGHTER] Nice weather. Fortunately, the earth, back
here, has an atmosphere. So the atmosphere plays
a very important role in terms of distributing
this energy. But that still doesn’t explain
the average temperature [? which you’d ?] have. But we have another example. In this case, we go to Venus. Venus is, as you know,
closer to the sun. This is a picture of
Venus in the ultraviolet because in the visible,
Venus is very white. That’s why you can see
it so bright in the sky. So it turns out that the
amount of energy absorbed by Venus, the amount of
energy coming from the sun, is smaller than the amount of
energy that our planet absorbs. In spite of that, the surface
of Venus is very much warmer. It’s around 470 degrees
[? Centigrade, ?] warmer than a hot oven. And so this is because
the atmosphere of Venus, in contract to our atmosphere
here on Earth, is very heavy. And it consists mostly
of carbon dioxide. So what we understand
now is what happens is Venus has a runaway
greenhouse effect. And so let just me
explain briefly then what this greenhouse effect is. The atmosphere– I already
mentioned a very important function, to distribute this
energy going from the sun. But another
important function is that it functions as a blanket. It’s transparent to the visible
radiation coming from the sun except for the
presence of clouds. But it’s not transparent
to that energy emitted by the surface
of the planet at much longer wavelengths. So it’s– that’s why it
functions like a cover, a mantle, around the planet. And that’s what explains
this enormous temperature difference in Venus. And that’s what explains
why, in our planet, the earth’s surface is
actually at plus 15 rather than minus 18 degrees
[? Centigrade. ?] So that 33 degrees
difference is what we call the natural greenhouse effect. And in fact, the minus 15
degrees [? Centigrade ?] temperature that we
calculated is correct, except that it’s not the
temperature of the surface, which is what we care about. But it turns out to be
the temperatures, roughly, 6 or 7 kilometers above
the Earth’s surface. So the greenhouse
effect, from the point of view of fundamental physics,
is very well understood. But here is what worries us. The gases that absorb
this infrared radiation that I was alluding to are the
so-called greenhouse gases. Their concentrations,
for some of them, are being affected
by human activities. And we can see here
how carbon dioxide– its concentrations has
been changing with time. So there is a
different nomenclature that we normally use. We refer to the
greenhouse effect. We label that
whatever is changing as a consequence of human
activities, what I just explained before, what happens
in Venus and this 33 degrees difference in– on our planet is a
natural greenhouse effect. But just the greenhouse effect– normally, we use that
phrase in connection with these changes resulting
from human activities. Now, why is carbon
dioxide increasing? First of all, you’ll see
these natural oscillations. And that’s because it’s
biologically active. Respiration releases
carbon dioxide. And photosynthesis absorbs it. So you see here the
summer/winter variations in the concentration. The more pronounced ones are
in the Northern Hemisphere, which is where the
bulk of the landmass exists in our planet, and
the less pronounced ones in the Southern
Hemisphere, where there is less biological activity. But what jumps out here
is this steady increase. And we know now, of course,
where this is coming from. It’s essentially from
burning fossil fuels. Roughly half of
the carbon dioxide, which is a result of combustion
of these organic materials, ends up in the atmosphere. The other half is captured
partly in the oceans, partly by land and
plants and so on. So let me give you another
perspective for these changes. I discussed carbon dioxide now. But if we look back
for a whole millennium, the year 1000 to 2000, and
we look at the concentration, in this case, of three
greenhouse gases– here is carbon dioxide, here
is methane, and nitrous oxide– methane you can see also
increasing very recently. Where does it come from? Turns out that
methane is produced by anaerobic processes,
[INAUDIBLE] processes. So a large source of methane
comes from ruminants, from the guts of cattle,
but also from growing rice. You have rice paddies that
are flooded with water. So this is indirectly
a consequence of human activities. And it’s all very recent. Nitrous oxide is,
to a large extent, produced by using fertilizers,
nitrogen fertilizers. But the striking thing
is that these curves have a similar shape. And the changes began then
with the Industrial Revolution. Well, there is one
more curve that has a sort of similar shape. What we have here
is temperature, temperature in our planet. And this is the average, the
mean surface temperatures. You have to measure it in many
places and then average it. The red line indicates
direct measurements. But if we go back
a whole millennium, there were no
direct measurements. But there are ways to infer what
the temperature was from tree rings, from corals,
from ice cores, and even from
historical records. So using our best understanding
of all these pieces of information,
one can reconstruct what the temperature was. Here, it’s actually constrained
to the Northern Hemisphere, where we have data. But what is quite clear is
that you have this very recent temperature jump. So if we look at all these
sets of figures, we could– we might suspect that there’s a
connection between all of them. Well, but that
connection turns out to be rather complicated
because the climate system is complicated. So what I’m going to do
is merely summarize it. And I’m going to use
some of the conclusions of these so-called IPCC
group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. You can get here a little
bit of information, convened by the United Nations, and
so on, which, by the way, was established in a very
similar way to the way we dealt with the
ozone layer problem. There was an
international community of scientists that provided
assessments that were meant to advise politicians. And that’s how the Montreal
Protocol came about. This is a similar process. And this is one of the
conclusions they reached– comes from calculations
like the ones I’m going to describe
briefly here. One way to look at the
climate is through models, models of the climate, that have
to take into account all sorts of complications– the way
the climate functions– difficult models to build. That’s only one tool. There are several other tools. But with those models, one can
compute temperature changes. And this is done for the last– since, I’d say, in this
calculation– from 1850 to the year 2000. And the lower line here
is what is calculated to happen if you do not take
into account these changes in the chemical composition
of the atmosphere that I just showed you. If, however, you take
that into account, then you get, instead of this
lower curve, this other curve. And the upper line
are the observations. So it’s clear that
these calculations fit the observations
much better if you make a connection between those
changes in the composition and what we expect to
happen to the climate. If you have
established or suspect, at least, this cause-effect
relationship, then you can take one more step. And then you can predict
what should the temperature do in this century once you make
a connection between those two sets of observations. And what happens to the
temperature in this century will depend on
different scenarios. It depends how society
evolves, how the economy moves, and whether society
imposes restrictions of emissions of carbon dioxide
and other greenhouse gases or not. But what is striking
here is that we have very significant
temperature changes compared to what has happened
in the last 1,000 years and, for that matter, in the
last tens of thousands of years as well. So what do we do about this? First of all, we have to
ask the question, so what? What happens if
temperature changes? I will not discuss
this in any detail, but just show it to you. There are, in fact,
some beneficial impacts of a warming of the earth’s
surface, like you might have longer growing
seasons for some crops in some parts of the world. But overall, the effects
tend to be negative. I’ve just talked
about temperature. But rainfall will also
change quite significantly if, indeed, these
greenhouse gases have the effects that the
scientific community is assuming. Sea level rise is
yet another effect. So you have a multitude
of potential effects held– in fact, that’s one of
the expertises of Dr. Chivian. But then you have agricultural
impacts and water resources impacts. Obviously, if you
change rain patterns, the consensus is
that you might get, because of this temperature
increase, more extreme events. When it rains, it pours. Otherwise, you
have more droughts. So it’s– that’s a logical
consequence of having more moisture in the atmosphere. At this point, I should
mention that water vapor itself is a very
important greenhouse gas. So human activities
will not directly change the amount of
water in the atmosphere. But if, through changes
in carbon dioxide, the temperature changes, you
have an important feedback effect. This water vapor will, in turn,
enhance the greenhouse effect. And that’s taken into account
in these calculations. So you have other impacts. Sea level rise, of
course, is very worrisome. Certain countries will
disappear completely, the small island countries. What I’m doing here– I’ll go through
this very briefly, just summarize what I’ve said so
far in terms of climate change. We have certain– I should– I would
label these facts. The climate is clearly changing. Very few people doubt that. The atmospheric
concentrations of greenhouse gases and other gases are
clearly changing [? all. ?] So that’s very well-established. But what is perhaps less
well-established, but certainly very logical, is that these
changes have a connection and that human
activities are at least partly responsible for
this temperature increase. And this last point
just tells you the magnitude of these
changes, between 1 and 1/2 and probably 6 degrees
in this century, and some changes in the way
this temperature is distributed. Let me ask a question here. With this information,
what should society do? Should society do something
about this problem– I recognize that there
are uncertainties– or is it premature? Is it a matter of opinion? Well, let me clarify, at
least, my own thinking here. What scientists can
do is to provide this type of information. But the actual answer
to that question does not lie within
the realm of science. It depends on your
value judgments. It depends how you assess risks. But science can go at
least one step further. And I’m showing you
here the results of some very interesting
calculations done by our colleagues
here at MIT by the– in the Center for
Global Change Science, led by Professor Prinn. What they have done is
calculated probabilities. Since these changes
in temperature are rather uncertain,
you can at least assess– it’s a little bit subjective. You cannot do this experiment. We have only one planet. But you can calculate
probabilities based on what you think
you know about the system. And here are the results– two curves, one assuming
that society does something, even if you– to take actions right now, you
will have a temperature change because we already changed the
composition of the atmosphere. But if you continue just
with business as usual, you will have much
larger changes. And then you can analyze
this in any way you want. For example, there
is one chance in 40 that the changes will be
larger than 5 degrees. Those would be very,
very large changes. They begin to be
comparable to the changes within an ice age
and an interglacial. Our planet would really
look very different. Do you want to take that risk? Again, we only have one planet. But you don’t have to
go all the way to 5. What is most likely to happen
is something above 2 degrees– remind you that we already
seen half a degree change. And we see all these
consequences already. But there is one chance
in 20 that you’re going to be between 3 and 4. These are the sort of risks
that we normally don’t take. If I tell you there
is one chance in 10 that you will be stuck
if you drive in the snow, only some of you
might want to drive. But if I tell you that
there’s one chance in 10 that you’re going to
have a bad accident, you probably won’t
do the driving unless you have a very
strong reason to do that. So again, this is not
within the realm of science, considering we’re
dealing with a planet and we’re dealing with
these very important risks, and considering how
many millions of people will be affected. In my own personal opinion,
this is certainly enough reason to start doing something now,
because the risks are just too large. And just to highlight one
more point very briefly, I talked about the average
temperature changes. But the changes are not evenly
distributed with latitude. You see that at the poles, you
have some very large changes that would have very important
consequences, for example, in terms of melting
of the ice caps. Again, these are results
from the group here at MIT. I’m going to transition
now to the last problems that I will deal with. Let me try to do that fast. But I’m still talking
about climate change. And here is just a
representation of the forcings. That means how much do we
expect, on a relative basis, different factors do
affect the climate. And one factor is the
changes in the concentrations of greenhouse gases, which– for which we have a
relatively high level of scientific understanding. And the magnitude is
reflected by this bar– CO2, methane, N2O. That’s what I talk about. The halocarbons are the CFCs. Those are regulated because
of the stratospheric ozone problems, anyhow. And then on the
other extreme, we have changes in the
intensity of solar radiation that we can do nothing
about, or in between– we also have
stratospheric ozone. But in between, we have
all these other effects. It turns out that they
have to do with pollution. They have to do
with air quality. So it’s interesting that
climate change is actually connected with pollution. So what do we know
about pollution? Air pollution–
considered normally just a regional
or local problem. We had pollution like
the episodes in London that had to do with
the sulfur and coal that we knew was very
damaging to people. Many people actually died
from the pollution events in the generation of
sulfuric acid, and so on. But the pollution that
we are more accustomed to in recent years is what we call
photochemical air pollution. That was really first
unraveled in Los Angeles. And we know about the
ingredients of pollution are hydrocarbons, like from
gasoline, that are either directly emitted or gasoline
that’s only partially burnt, nitric oxide, and sunlight. The combination of the
three generates this type of pollution, which
we know part of it is ozone, the same
molecule that protects us in the stratosphere. It’s actually nasty if
you have to breathe it because it’s very active. And it irritates your lungs. And besides ozone, the other
components of pollution are suspended particulate
matter that we also know has very important
health effects. So just in passing– I know I have very
little time left. But let me nevertheless
just allude to the program that we’re heavily
involved with that has to do with air
pollution in Mexico City. We’re worried about pollution
in megacities of the developing world, again, because
there are many cities now. So pollution is happening
in many parts of the world. And this particular program– what is interesting
about it is it doesn’t deal just with
the science and technology of the problem,
but we know that we have to deal with social,
economic, and political issues, as well, to solve these
real-life problems. In this case, the science
itself is not in question. We know where the
pollution comes from. We still have to
do a lot of science to refine our recommendations
to the government. But it’s very important
to work very closely with the governments in
these developing countries to make sure that some
improvements actually take place. And that has been the
case in Mexico City. It’s no longer the most
polluted city in the world. But there’s still a
long distance to go. But what I’m talking
about, recall, is the context of global issues. What we have to do is to add
to this pollution coming out from many cities. Recall that roughly half
the population of the world now is urbanized,
lives in cities. And the trend is
increasing there. But we have to add another
source of pollution, the same type of
photochemical pollution, that comes from things like
forest fires, but also agricultural practices, such
as slash-and-burn agriculture. Anytime you burn
organic matter, you’re going to generate hydrocarbons
and nitrogen oxides that will contribute to this,
making smoke and making the ozone in the atmosphere. Now, what we know now– I’ll just show very briefly
some satellite views of what happens to
this type of pollution. In ’98, we know there were
some forest fires in Mexico. You can see the plume from
satellite clearly reaching the southern part of
the United States. There were some large pollution
events in Asia, again, from forest fires in ’97. And the health
effects were extremely large in many parts of Asia–
in this case, in Kuala Lumpur. Let me show you a
more recent event. This is just this year,
in the end of January. This is West Africa. This red dot– this is
the satellite picture. But these were some
individual fires. And you can see the
smoke really moving over the ocean very clearly here
from these satellite pictures. One more– you can
see it here, Asia– of course, Japan, Korea. Somewhere here is Beijing. And Shanghai, I guess,
is somewhere around here. This gray color is pollution. So there are large
amounts of pollution. And I believe this
is the same area. You can see here again
Beijing and Shanghai somewhere here covered by that. So except for the clouds, all
this gray mass is pollution. This is what’s– leads to the
so-called brown cloud that– there are worries that it
reaches the American continent as well. How do we know that? Well, it turns out there
are other events that are also very easily
observed from satellites. In this case, it’s not directly
pollution, like the one I was describing,
but dust storms. And their origin in these
cases, like the Gobi Desert, which is also indirectly being
affected by human activities– the Gobi Desert is increasing
in size relatively fast. So desertification is another of
those problems that contributes to these global issues. And you can see here the
timescale for these, the dust clouds, to reach the
American continent from Asia is about six days. It’s just how fast
these things moves. And one last [INAUDIBLE] here
in terms of these pollution issues– it’s also very
interesting finding– in this case, come from
this so-called [INAUDIBLE] experiments. These were measurements
of the composition of air. In this case, we’re
showing measurements about 1,000 kilometers away from
the Indian continent in two air masses that are relatively
close to each other, but one is in the
Northern Hemisphere– namely, this one– and one
in the Southern Hemisphere. And if you recall, as
I explained earlier, the two hemispheres are– do not mix well. So this represents
pollution coming from India, in this case. You can clearly
see the difference. You don’t even see the horizon. It’s pollution that has
traveled 1,000 kilometers. But the effect that is really
highlighted in this paper is cloudiness. [INAUDIBLE] important
component of this pollution is soot, these black
carbon particles, that turn out to– when they
are incorporated into clouds, they heat them. And the clouds evaporate. So this is an example of an
indirect effect of pollution. Clouds play a very important
role in this energy balance of the planet. And you can either make
more clouds with haze, like [INAUDIBLE]
sulfuric acid droplets, or change their
properties in such a way as to compete with
the greenhouse effect, or else, like in
the case of soot, you can add to the
greenhouse effect in terms of
decreasing cloudiness and increasing the amount
of energy that reaches the surface of the planet. So all these I can label as
a global air quality problem. What I have here is
just a summary of– I chaired a few years ago
the National Academy panel, which we label
global air quality, to highlight these
types of issues, the connection between air
quality and climate change. In this particular
report, we just made a point that we don’t
have enough observations in our planet to
understand clearly how these problems come about. So we should do more about it. So I’m close to
the end, but want to remind you about
these curves I showed at the beginning of constant
methane, constant carbon dioxide, and then
suddenly increasing. There is another curve
that you all probably know about that has a similar
shape, human population. In this case, I go
back many millennia. But we are now close to six
billion people, or a little bit above. And this has all
happened very recently. Fortunately, it’s leveling off. It’s not increasing
at this rate anymore. But clearly, all these dramatic
changes that I [AUDIO OUT] to show you are a consequence
of this increasing human population. So let me just finish by coming
back to the ozone problem. I want to give you an
example to see you how we deal with these problems. As I mentioned, we dealt with
the stratospheric ozone problem rather successfully. Here is an example
dealing with one CFC, one that happened
to be used in the past to clean electronic
boards, CFC-113. When we first
suggested in the ’70s that these compounds
had to be banned, the electronic industry
got very worried. Japan was not
willing, initially, to sign the Montreal
Protocol, and so on. But it turns out that
societies were inventive. So many patents came about
to develop these boards in different ways, to clean
them, even, with water and soap rather than with these more
sophisticated, but excellent, solvents. But the most interesting
technology, shown here, is one in which you make clean
electronic boards to begin with. So you do not need
to use any solvents. So let me end up with
this view, again, just to highlight how
thin is our atmosphere and just to summarize a
perspective on all this. Of course, we know that people
in the developing world– that they have to increase
their standard of living. They have the right to do that. And so their economies
need to grow. But it’s clear that they
should not grow their economies the same way that
we have done it in the industrialized countries
so far because our planet is not large enough to absorb
all these unwanted side products of our activities. We have to learn to do
it in different ways. And so that’s why
it’s imperative that we all work together–
the industrial sector, the academic sector,
environmental organizations. That’s how it happened with the
stratospheric ozone problem. All these sectors work together. But we have to do it once more
because these new technologies will not come out of
the developing world. They don’t have the resources. But at least with
the ozone story, we have shown that
it can be done. So there is light at
the end of the tunnel. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] CHIVIAN: That was a
wonderful talk, Mario. And it’s a great honor
to be on the program with my friend and
colleague, Mario Molina. I want to thank
Paul and Priscilla Gray for inviting me to be
back at MIT, where I worked for 20 years, until
about two years ago, in the medical department. I must confess that I have
not started using PowerPoint. I’m reluctant, as you’ll
see, to part with things that have worked so well for me. I’m still using
35-millimeter slides. And for years, I must
confess, I continued typing on my IBM
Selectric when others were using word processors. And I still drive a 1986 Saab
with over 200,000 miles on it. There was a slide
that, I believe, Professor Molina may have
dropped out of his tray. This is from that peer-reviewed
journal called the Weekly World News. [LAUGHTER] Couldn’t resist that, Mario. We can turn off the slides. I’ll get back to
them in a minute. A minister in Montana was
tired of working on his sermon. And he decided to
go bear hunting. And so he drove to some nearby
mountains and hiked a trail and sat with his gun loaded. And after some hours,
a large brown bear emerged and began
to run towards him. The minister aimed his gun. And he pulled the trigger. But the trigger jammed. And in a panic,
he began to pray. And he said, oh,
Lord, I have always been your faithful servant. Please, Lord, please, please,
make that bear a Christian. And at that moment, the
bear came to an abrupt halt. And it put its
huge paws together. And it looked up at
the sky and said, dear, Lord, I thank Thee for
the gift I am about to receive. [LAUGHTER] Now, I tell this story
because, as you’ll see, I’m generally
rooting for the bears and– because bears
are totally unique and remarkable
creatures that hold enormously important
secrets for medicine, as I’ll talk about shortly. Now, when I was on a flight
from Washington to Boston a couple of years ago,
there was, all of a sudden, a great commotion around me. It turned out that a large
brown moth had somehow gotten onto the plane. And people, being very
startled and afraid when it landed on them, wanted to
kill it, even the stewardesses. Everyone was in a
real frantic mood. Somehow, this
unfortunate animal had wandered into the high-tech,
relatively sterile world of humans, where
it didn’t belong. And people were very
frightened of it, even though it was
totally harmless. And everyone was very
surprised when suddenly, I stood up and insisted that we
catch the moth and let it go. I announced this very loudly. And I must confess,
I surprised myself because I didn’t
realize I would do this. And I didn’t have a
very good idea of how I was going to catch the moth. But then I thought of the
vomit bag in front of me. And I blew it up. And I went after the moth. I banged a fair number
of heads in the process. And I released it after
we landed in Terminal B at Logan Airport,
where the buses were spewing their diesel fumes. I’m not sure how much
of a favor this was. But I was, as you can
imagine, savoring one of those few moments in
life when people ask, who was that masked man– [LAUGHTER] –or perhaps, in this
case, who was that mad man? But I tell this story because
it illustrates, it seems to me, how separated we’ve become from
the environment in which we live, so disconnected from
the natural world which increasingly exists
as we become more and more urbanized and zoos and
aquaria and botanical gardens– so disconnected that true
nature, like the moths, seem to many an alien
creature, as a hostile force to be conquered and
exploited and even killed, that the environment
has come to be, for many people, an infinite
resource that exists for our use alone, that we can
take as much as we want from, or as an infinite sink that
we can dump as much as we want into, that somehow, we
can alter and degrade the atmosphere and the oceans
and the forests and soils, endangering, perhaps,
millions of species we share this planet
with, some of which have been on Earth for
hundreds of millions of years longer than we have, like sharks and dragonflies
and horseshoe crabs and frogs, as if, somehow,
these alterations had nothing whatsoever to do
with us at all, as if we were totally insulated from them. And it seems to me that
this lack of connection to the environment,
this fundamental failure to understand that our
health and lives depend on the health of the
global environment– that this problem is among
the most important problems we face in the years ahead. Now, what prevents us from
recognizing the threat that global environmental
change poses for us? For one, it’s too abstract. It’s too hard to relate to. As you heard Professor
Molina talking about the atmosphere
and the globe, it occurs over
too large a scale. It evolves too slowly over time. It’s outside our
everyday experience, especially for those of us in
rich nations, like this one, not living at the
margin of survival, as large numbers of people
in developing countries do all the time, at the mercy of
every cyclone or crop failure. Global environmental change
is also too frightening. The specter of floods
or drought or fires or famine or epidemics
of infectious disease– they’re too overwhelming
to contemplate. They’re biblical in
their proportions. And for the most
part, the problems seem too large to
solve, making people feel frightened or
helpless or hopeless. And they’d rather just as soon
think about something else. They’re also very
complicated and technical. The science is very complicated. And then it’s made
worse, it seems to me, by scientists, and also
people in public health, who write and speak in
jargon-filled languages, unable to communicate
with policymakers or the media or the public. So people find it generally
hard, too hard to understand. And it’s also too hypothetical. It’s only a theory, in the
eyes of some skeptics, a result of the difficulty, as
Professor Molina talked about, of coming up with cause and
proof of cause and effect, the reality that there are
large natural fluctuations and the fact that
there’s only one Earth. And we never been in
this situation before. We can’t– there is no
controlled subject for a global experiments that are
now taking place, no other Earth where the
variables can be held constant. So we have to rely on computer
models and projections that are sometimes, as you
know, less than convincing. For many, it’s also not
worth worrying about. They believe if science
got us into this mess, it’s also going to get us out. We’ll invent or synthesize
or engineer our way out of all of our difficulties. And while science
has much to offer, we must be very humble and
fully aware of its limitations, especially in the
face of understanding highly complex
non-linear systems, as you heard Professor
Molina talking about chlorofluorocarbons,
which were originally greeted as the most wonderful
chemicals for refrigeration ever. They were not
toxic, like ammonia. They were not flammable, like
propane, the refrigerants that were used at the time, and
so chemically unreactive that no one thought they would
be an environmental problem at all. And furthermore, in contrast to
the issue of nuclear weapons, which I spent many
years working on, where there were no changes that
we had to make in our lifestyle or in personal choices to reduce
the threat of nuclear war, with global
environmental change, we’re all part of the problem. And we’re all part
of the solution. And many of us, including
myself at times, would just as soon
not think about or try not to learn
about the contribution our SUVs or teak furniture
or eating farm-raised shrimp or Atlantic salmon, both of
which, by the way, I love, make to damaging
the environment. And finally, there
are powerful forces. In some businesses– some
in the fossil fuel industry, some in timber and mining and
cattle farming and chemical manufacturing and land
development, et cetera– and their political supporters,
including some scientists, some of whom are clearly
motivated by reasonable scientific questions, but
others of whom represent vested interests, motivated by
greed, I’m afraid to say, who have attempted, much as
the tobacco industry has done for decades, to suppress
scientific findings that raise health and safety questions
about their practices and products and who have tried
to undermine the credibility of respected scientists
and public health experts– and these skeptics,
I’m sorry to say, are often given equal
time by the media, which loves a good fight, as if
they represented objective, widely held, carefully
researched, equally valid scientific viewpoints,
which they do not. So the public is often
confused and doesn’t know what or whom to believe. Well, it was in recognizing
the scope and magnitude of these barriers that made
it difficult for people to grasp what human activity was
doing to the global environment that we founded the center
that you heard Professor Gray mention at
Harvard Medical School, believing, somehow, that
physicians and health professionals– that we
could perhaps help translate this abstract,
technical language of environmental science into
the concrete personal terms of human health that we
hoped people could relate to and understand, and that
by helping them understand the potential risks to
their health and lives and to those of their children, we could perhaps
help motivate them to make the changes in
their personal lives and to support the policies
necessary to really protect the global environment. So I thought that
this evening, I would go over one of the
main areas of interest at our center, at
the Medical School– Harvard Medical School and the
area that I’m most involved in. That’s the issue of loss
of biological diversity and its implications for health. Now, when Homo sapiens evolved
some 130,000 years ago, the number of species on
Earth was the largest ever. But human activity has resulted
in species extinction rates that are maybe 100
to even 1,000 times those of pre-human levels,
causing Ed Wilson and Paul Ehrlich and others to estimate
that we could lose maybe 25% to 40% or more of all
plant and animal species presently alive in the next
50 years and as many as 2/3 of them by 2100 if
these rates persist. And it’s not just in the
tropical rain forests, but in temperate regions, as
well, like the United States. In this map, the dark states
have the greatest loss of species. There are some 500 known
animal and plant species that are either missing
or are known to be extinct since the 17th century. And the greatest
are found in states like California and, of
course, the island of Hawaii and Alabama. And these– the greatest losses
are in some freshwater species, like mollusks and crustaceans. What’s interesting is
that the United States is incredibly rich biologically. We lead the world
in the diversity of salamanders, crayfish,
freshwater turtles, freshwater mollusks. We have the most
species of mammals and among the richest flora
of any temperate country in the world. Now, the causes of species
extinction are many. The main one is the
degradation and the reduction and the fragmentation
of habitats, especially in
species-rich areas, like tropical rain
forests and coral reefs. But we must be aware of
other factors, as well, such as global warming
and the associated changes in global climate. Let me say a word about this
critical issue, which Professor Molina has touched on. 1998 was by far the
warmest year since 1856, when average annual global
surface temperatures were first accurately measured. This past year, 2002,
was the second-warmest. 2001 was the third-warmest. 1997 was the fourth-warmest. 1995 was the fifth-warmest. Nine out of 10 of
the warmest years on record since the
mid-19th century have occurred since 1990. And it is clear
from measurements that we have that average global
temperatures have increased, as Professor Molina
said, roughly one degree Fahrenheit since 1880 or so,
when the Industrial Revolution began. Now, these projections
that Professor Molina mentioned on this– this is the last 20,000 years– in IPCC II, they
were in this range, going up to, say, 3 and
1/2 degrees centigrade. IPCC has so far raised
that at the upper limit to go as high as 11
degrees Fahrenheit. And as Professor
Molina mentioned, that degree of change is the difference between
the end of the last ice age, some 20,000 years ago, and now. And at the end of
the last ice age, where we’re sitting
in this lecture room, we were under a layer
of ice a mile thick. So we’re talking about huge,
huge changes in temperature. Now, what’s important
for species is not just the magnitude of this
change, but the rate of it. And it will– is
thought to be somewhere between 10 and 100 times greater
than temperature warmings in the past, posing
great risk to species. Now, why is this? Well, the fossil record
shows that climate change was the dominant factor
in the great extinctions of the past, both
warming and cooling, directly because the
temperature shifts were outside the ranges to
which species could adapt, but indirectly because
of changes in habitat– formation of glaciers, changes
in sea level, et cetera. With warming, species on
land and in the oceans moved towards the poles. Their ranges change. And on land, they also
move to higher altitudes. And with cooling, they moved
back towards the equator into lower altitudes. Those that couldn’t
shift fast enough were– because
there were barriers to their movement of their
range change were lost. Now there’s a much faster
rate of change predicted. And there are
barriers everywhere that humans have created– farms and cities and
roads, et cetera. Now, you recall in
that previous graph that the temperature has changed
roughly one degree Fahrenheit. So the question is,
can we see any evidence of biological changes with this
small degree of temperature increase, on average? And the answer seems to be yes. There are two major reports in
Nature in the last month or so that are showing of what
are called fingerprints of biological ecosystem
change from climate change. And these are events
like the earlier arrival of migratory birds
or frog breeding, earlier spring flowering, early
budding in trees, and also changes in the ranges of
animals, like I mentioned. For example, this is what’s
called Edith’s checkerspot butterfly. It’s a butterfly that’s in
the western part of the United States. And in the last several
decades, its range– it’s been followed
very closely– butterflies and birds
are very closely studied by biologists, mostly
because they’re beautiful, in part– and its range has
moved northward in the Western United States. It’s been tracked for decades. And the same has been true
with vascular plants moving to higher altitudes in the Alps. These are both very carefully
done studies in the literature. Now, there are other
factors, clearly, besides climate change that
lead to threats to species. One of them, of course,
is toxic chemicals, which may lead to reproductive
or endocrine or immunologic or developmental effects. And they may cause
a species loss, like in this study with a frog
species that grow extra limbs– and, of course, that affects
reproduction, et cetera– and, of course,
invasive species, like the zebra mussel or the
purple loosestrife or others– which affect species’ survival. And finally, just
the wanton slaughter of many species, such as these
gorillas of Western Africa, which, along with chimps
and other primates, are being killed for bushmeat
to feed loggers and miners, but also native
tribes, many of which are very hungry and poor– won’t get into it. But one of the– it’s
quite strongly believed now in the scientific community
that the source of HIV/AIDS came from a subspecies of chimpanzee
in Cameroon from bushmeat exposure– that is,
exposure to blood– over several– last
several decades and has led to
catastrophe, as you know. Now, what does all this have
to do with human health? Well, for one, with
the loss of species, we’re losing the possibility
of discovering new medicines because over the course of
billions of years of evolution, species have developed
chemicals that they need to fight infections and
tumors and other diseases, and also to capture prey
and avoid being eaten. And some of these
chemicals have become some of today’s most
important pharmaceuticals. This is what’s called the
cinchona tree in the– from the Amazon. It gave us quinine and another
compound called quinidine. Quinine is a major
anti-malarial. It was the original
anti-malarial. It’s making a comeback, as some
of the plasmodia from malaria are developing
resistance to synthetics. Quinidine is used to
treat cardiac disease. But temperate species
have also given us enormously useful drugs. The wonder drug aspirin
was originally derived from salicin extracted
from the willow tree, which, really, everybody
in this room over 50, unless it’s contraindicated
for other reasons, like a bleeding disorder,
should be taking one aspirin every other day. There’s an extremely robust
data in the literature that this prevents heart
attacks and strokes. And just in the last week, there
have been two published studies about aspirin, this
incredible drug, that it protects– it’s thought
to protect against throat and mouth cancer and, in
today’s New York Times, to prevent the growth
of precancerous polyps in the colon, which
is a major killer. Another temperate
source of drugs is from these flowers,
called foxglove. This is a picture
from my garden. This flower gave us
digitalis, and also– which is widely used
in synthetic analogs to treat congestive
heart failure and atrial fibrillation. Indeed, a study showed that of
the 150 most prescribed drugs in the United States,
more than half of them were either derived from or
patterned after compounds derived from natural sources. And of course, as you know, in
the developing world, some 80% of people rely on
traditional medicines from– mostly from plants. I want to talk about
this species, this genus. They’re called cone snails. These are extremely
beautiful shells. They’ve been collected
for centuries, brought great deals of money
in during the Renaissance in Holland. In fact, one cone snail
was sold at an auction for more than a Vermeer
painting in 1796. They were so highly prized. What’s incredible about these–
there’s some 500 species. They’re predatory snails. They mostly live in
tropical coral reefs in the South Pacific. And they feed by– and defend themselves by
firing a poison-coated harpoon. And this spike contains
a cocktail of toxins. They paralyze their prey,
worms and mollusks and fish. These are small peptides,
much like the peptides that are found in the toxins
of snakes and scorpions and spiders and sea anemones. But in cone snails,
they are truly amazing. There are 500 species. Each species is thought to
contain 100 distinct peptide toxins. So there may be as many
as 50,000 peptide toxins. Only 100 have been characterized
from three species. And of these 100– want to tell you about
one in particular, which is what’s called a
voltage-sensitive calcium channel blocker. You may know about another
calcium channel blocker, which is used in the treatment of
angina or high blood pressure, called Calan, or verapamil. This calcium channel blocker
does two remarkable things that have been studied. One is it blocks a cascade
of biochemical reactions that have been mediated
by the influx of calcium. And that starts the
death of nerve cells when there hasn’t been
enough circulation. So this is of
tremendous interest in coronary bypass surgery
and following head injuries. But it also– oh, this is
firing this harpoon on a fish– but it also binds to
the incoming nerve cells in what’s called the dorsal
horn of the spinal cord with enormous specificity and
blocks the transmission of pain up these neurons without
blocking fine touch. Now, what’s amazing about
this particular synthetic drug that’s coming from
the toxin is that it’s been shown to be 1,000 times
more potent than morphine. But unlike morphine,
it doesn’t cause addiction or the
development of tolerance. This is an enormous problem
in treating chronic pain in people with nerve injuries
or cancer or AIDS, HIV/AIDS, because what happens is
you need more and more drug to get the same effect
because of the development of tolerance. This particular
toxin-developed drug does not seem to cause that. Other cone snail toxins
are being developed for epilepsy that
doesn’t respond to other epileptic medications
and for the treatment of a kind of lung cancer
that has been, so far, unresponsive to
other treatments, but yet cone snails
are endangered. Their shells are collected,
both for marine curios and also for– unfortunately,
for medical research. There’s very little regulation. But mostly, cones snails
live on coral reefs. And coral reefs are
endangered around the world, particularly in parts of
the South Pacific, where they are mostly found. Now, species loss
doesn’t only lead to a loss of
potential medicines. It affects medical
research in major ways. I mentioned about bears. And bear populations
are threatened in many parts of the world
because of destruction of their habitat, but also
because of over-hunting secondary to the high
prices their organs, reputed to have medicinal value,
bring in Asian black markets. Bear gallbladders, for example,
are highly sought after. There are– worth 18 times
their weight in gold. And there’s a flourishing
black market trade in bear parts in parts
of South Korea and China and here in Thailand. And yet the tragedy
is that living bears are worth far more than the
sum of all their body parts. Let me explain why. In winter months, bears
enter a three- to seven-month period of hibernation. It’s really denning. They don’t fully hibernate,
as some rodent species do. Their heart rate drops. And their temperature drops. But they are fully arousable,
as some bear biologists have discovered, to their dismay. [LAUGHTER] Despite a lack of
weight bearing, for months, denning bears
don’t lose bone mass. They don’t develop
osteoporosis, a phenomena that occurs in every other mammalian
species, including humans, with decreased mechanical
use of the skeleton. Osteoporosis is an
enormous problem in the inactive
elderly, especially post-menopausal women,
and paralyzed patients. And understanding how
bears prevent it– there’s a lot of research going on–
prevent their bones from being resorbed, could lead to new
ways of preventing and treating this disease, which afflicts
28 million people in the United States alone, results in
1.5 million bone fractures and about 70,000
deaths every year, costs the US economy $13.8
billion a year in medical costs and lost productivity. Bears also don’t
eat, drink, urinate, or defecate for periods
of up to seven months. If we don’t urinate
for a few days, we die. They are able to recycle
their urinary waste. They make new protein. They have a pathway that
we don’t fully understand. They recycle everything. And kidney failure
in the United States costs the US economy an
additional $16 billion a year. The only way to treat someone
with terminal kidney disease is dialysis or
kidney transplant. We have no other treatment. Let me just say a quick
word about polar bears, which are endangered
for yet another reason, not just destruction of
their habitat, which– from things like oil exploration
and drilling and habit and– in the Arctic National Wildlife
Refuge, where they live, but also over-hunting. Some hunters pay up to
$22,000 to bag a polar bear on expeditions. But they’re also
being endangered by climate change, which,
as Professor Molina said, is not uniform, is
greatest at the– in Boreal regions
and at the poles. And this is an enormous problem
for bears because ice thins. They depend on
ice to hunt seals. And that’s their main food. If there’s no ice, the
seals can surface anywhere, far from the polar bears. Just one quick thing
before moving on– I know I’m over
time a little bit. Other species don’t only
teach us about medical things, but teach us other secrets. This is a– this
strange building is from Harare, Zimbabwe. It’s modeled after the
venting and air circulation dynamics that are
found in termite nests. Termites, it turns
out, are farmers. And they grow a fungus in
the middle of their nests. And they have to keep the
fungus at a constant 87 degrees Fahrenheit plus or
minus a half a degree, despite very wide fluctuations
outside in this part of Africa. Some can get to be
35 degrees Fahrenheit at night and over 104
degrees during the day. This Harare building is modeled
after those dynamics of air flow and humidity and
uses one tenth the energy that a building
of its size would use for heating and cooling. Now, finally, I want to
talk about the whole issue of ecosystem services. And that is the
ways that species interact to provide valuable
life support for all of us, for all living things. They maintain global
temperatures and precipitation by storing carbon. They regulate atmospheric
concentrations of oxygen and carbon
dioxide and water vapor. They break down wastes
and dead organisms. They return the nutrients
to the land and the oceans. They pollinate plants, et
cetera, et cetera, et cetera. We don’t know a great deal about
how some of these ecosystems’ functions work. Let me talk about one of them
from a human point of view, and that is to hold infectious
agents in the environment in check so they,
from our perspective, don’t cause significant
human disease. This is a map of Lyme
disease cases and– in the United States. Each dot represents a case. And you can see, of course,
the enormous concentration in the Middle Atlantic
and New England and some in the Upper
Midwest, spattering of cases in California and
in parts of the Southeast. What you notice–
well, let me go– it’s– Lyme disease is carried. It’s the most common
vector-borne disease in the United States. There are about 19,000 reported
cases, probably many others that aren’t reported. It’s carried by the
black-legged tick in the east. It carries a
bacteria spirochete. Also involved in the disease are
the white-tailed deer, and also the white-footed mouse. I’m sorry to say
this is a deer mouse. But I didn’t have a picture
of a white-footed mouse. We are an accidental host. And it’s long been observed, as
I mentioned, that there are not that many cases in the western
part of the United States, even though there are ticks. And there are spirochete. And there are deer. And there are mice. It turns out one of the favorite
meals for the tick out West is something called the
western fence lizard. And its blood
contains a substance that kills the bacteria. Many species of
reptiles are threatened. And one has to ask,
what happens if we lose the western
fence lizard to Lyme disease incidence out West? But another issue is
quite interesting. And that is in
areas where there’s little biological
diversity, like in islands like Martha’s Vineyard and
Nantucket, rates of infection are very high. And some very elegant work
by one of my colleagues, Rick Ostfeld, has
shown that when there’s a great deal of biological
diversity of vertebrates in the forest, then the chances
of getting Lyme are less. And the reasons are
quite interesting. One is that the
ticks bite anything they find that they come across. So they’re not only biting
the mouse and the deer, which keep– are
part of the cycle. They’re also biting
other vertebrates. They’re biting birds. They’re biting amphibians. They’re biting whatever
crosses their path. And these other
animals are in– what are called incompetent hosts. They don’t keep the
lifecycle of the Lyme going. So there’s a dilution, what’s
called a dilution effect, of the bacteria. And we’re less
likely to get Lyme if there are lots of different
other animals in the forest. But what also happens is that
some of these other animals are competing with the main
host, the mouse, for food. So they keep its
population down. And some of them are predators– so an example where
biological diversity keeps the risk of Lyme low. Now, what does all this mean? And what can be done? And I may be putting on my more
activist hat in this section. But I will wear it gently. I must tell you that I am– I came back from
London late last night. So it is now– what is it, 4:00– 8:30– well, five hours later. So after 1:00, I’m not
responsible for anything I think or say. [LAUGHTER] Well, for one, we have
to look at these problems directly, without
avoidance and denial, no matter how difficult
or even frightening they are, in order to
begin to solve them. We can’t bury our heads in the
sand or say it’s up to others. We must help people
in the business world and in politics to
see that it’s not a choice between a healthy
environment or healthy profits. One can have both. Indeed, without a
healthy environment, the cost to society from
the impacts on agriculture and private property
and human health will be so enormous as
to affect every aspect of the marketplace. And as we did with
the Montreal Protocol, as Professor Molina said, that
protected the ozone layer– the United States is the most
powerful player on the world stage, is the greatest consumer
of resources and producer of waste– we must take the
lead in world efforts to reduce greenhouse
gases and to protect biological diversity. We have not even signed
and ratified the convention on biological diversity, which
almost every other country in the world has. We don’t have a seat at the
table at the convention. And as you know, while 178
nations agreed last year to curb greenhouse gas
emissions, including all of our allies, the United
States, with 4% to 5% of the world’s
population, producing 25% of the world’s
human-released greenhouse gases, sat on the sidelines. And in my view, this should be
a matter of national disgrace and great embarrassment. And it may be said
that those who are blocking these efforts
by, I believe, deliberately misrepresenting the
science, in some cases, and trying to discredit
people in the National Academy of Sciences or
the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,
like, unfortunately, some members of
our administration and some in Congress
who have, I’m afraid, appallingly
meager understanding of the environment
or of public health– and I’m afraid,
also, and this is where I may get into trouble,
but some multinationals, like ExxonMobil, which, in
their biweekly infomercials in The New York Times,
talk about climate change science in an often very
misleading way or some “think tanks,” like
the George C. Marshall Institute or the Competitive
Enterprise Institute– it may be said of them,
as Teddy Roosevelt once said of his political
opponents, “that every time they open their mouths
on these issues, they subtract from the sum
total of human knowledge.” [LAUGHTER] And we should not be surprised
to learn that our species, Homo sapiens, has been
found to contain some Neanderthal
genetic material. [LAUGHTER] Well, so much for my rant. We can, and we must, invest
scientific effort and money on a scale similar to
the Manhattan Project to develop renewable,
nonpolluting sources of energy– solar and wind and
geothermal, new batteries, greater efficiency. Why isn’t the United States
leading in these technologies? I’m afraid to say, why isn’t MIT
leading in these technologies? Isn’t it clear that
those who succeed in developing inexpensive,
efficient, renewable energy sources will be the next
Microsoft, the next Intel? We must control the discharge
of pollutants, particularly those that are long-lasting and
accumulate in the food chain, like some heavy metals and some
persistent organic pollutants. We must, as you saw
Professor Molina’s slide, control or slow down
population growth by supporting efforts to provide
access to family planning to every woman who wants
it and by increasing educational and career
opportunities for women around the world. We need to protect
biologically rich ecosystems, like tropical rain
forests and coral reefs. And let me say just a
quick word about these. One of the greatest crimes
against the environment has been the draining and
destruction of marshlands of southern Iraq by Saddam
Hussein and the destruction of the 6,000-year-old
culture of the Marsh Arabs, which developed the arch
thousands of years before the Romans. But it is a tragic irony that
the US Army Corps of Engineers, with the blessing of
the Bush administration, has begun to redefine what
constitutes a wetland so that plans are now in the works
to drain hundreds of thousands of acres of wetlands
across coastal Mississippi and parts of Texas so that
they can be developed. And I should say, if
there is a war in Iraq, it will be devastating not
just for the tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians or
the thousands, perhaps, of American and
British young people, but for the environment. We must ourselves be models
for responsible, healthy, sustainable,
environmental practices by reducing and reusing
and recycling resources. Do we really need every gadget
that the newest Sharper Image catalog shows us? I believe we need
to drive small cars. That’s my wife, Jake, standing
next to this little Fiat. She is 5′ 11″. She would kill me if she knew
I was showing this picture. [LAUGHTER] Rather than this one– god, I
hope this is not made by Ford Motor Company, I don’t think– [LAUGHTER] I don’t think so. I think it’s a Chevrolet. [APPLAUSE] Uh-oh, I feel another
rant coming on. [LAUGHTER] Let me just say a
quick word about SUVs. [LAUGHTER] They consume two or three
times as much gasoline as a compact sedan. They give off five times
more air pollutants. They’re three times more
likely to kill the other driver in an accident and two
to four times more likely to roll over when hit. But I’m delighted to say that
Ford Motor Company is taking a, really, leadership
role in developing safer and more
fuel-efficient SUVs and working on
fuel cell vehicles. And I’m very proud of that. Clearly, one of the moves is
to look at hybrid vehicles. This is the Honda Insight,
which gets roughly 60 miles to a gallon in some tests. But better yet, take public
transportation or bike or walk. And there are other
ways we can reduce our consumption of energy. We can better
insulate our homes. We can use more
energy-efficient lighting. If every household
in California had replaced just four
75-watt light bulbs with available compact
fluorescent bulbs, the state would not have had to
build three new average power plants, average-sized
power plants. And in the energy
crunch, and this should be somebody’s PhD
thesis in this room– in 2001, during the blackouts
and brownouts in California– the state residents reduced
electrical use by 11% without a significant change
in their quality of life. Who is studying this? Who is cataloging this? This is not rocket science. These technologies
are available now. We need to engage
in a whole array of individual and
collective actions that preserve biodiversity
and the environment. And we need to be
a model for others. It’s hard to be one to
tell family and friends that they shouldn’t eat
that piece of swordfish. One is not generally invited to
too many more family parties. [LAUGHTER] But it is important
to say politely, and without being condescending
or environmentally holier than thou, some
things like that. We can eat low on
the food chain. We should avoid marine
species that are endangered, like orange roughy and Chilean
sea bass, which was renamed. It’s really
Patagonian toothfish. We shouldn’t eat these. They’re endangered fish. The Monterey Bay
Aquarium puts out a list of fish that are not
endangered that you can eat. We should stay away,
I’m sorry to say, because I love them, from
farm-raised carnivorous salmon. It takes seven
pounds of fish meal to make one pound of
farm-raised salmon. And you can buy frozen
wild-caught salmon from the Pacific
Northwest in Alaska. And you can buy herbivorous
catfish or tilapia. You should, anyway, be eating
low on the food fish web because higher you
go, the more likely you are to be exposed
to pollutants, which get bioaccumulated. We should eat less red meat. It’s not good for
the environment. And it’s not good
for you, either. And if you do buy
meat, buy organic meat because then you won’t be
getting growth hormones or antibiotics or pesticides. And buy organic food,
anyway, because food from local farmers,
at farmers markets– this will encourage
organic food practices and keep these farmers trying
to preserve the environment and business. And try to avoid,
I’m sorry to say, because it has effects
on the developing world, but buying produce that had to
fly 5,000 miles to get to you. You should be buying
as much as you can– I know it’s not always
possible– things that are local. Don’t buy tropical hardwoods,
like teak or mahogany, unless it’s clear that these
are being raised sustainably. And ask about that. Home Depot is selling
certified wood products. And you can also
buy recycled wood. It’s available in many
areas for construction. And save energy. Clearly, as you’ve heard
Professor Molina say, global warming will
become, in synergy with others forces, the
predominant factor in coming decades for species loss. When the environmentalists
in Cape Cod and the islands protest the
wind-generating towers, saying they’ll harm
marine species and birds, I agree that we need to
study this and mitigate these effects. But are they considering the
effect on climate change, on marine species and birds? And what other
practical suggestions do they have to reduce our
greenhouse gas emissions and still meet our energy needs? All of you, we can reduce
our own energy use. For god’s sakes, turn off the
lights in rooms that are empty. Turn down the
thermostat at night. Wear a sweater. Walk. Bike. Take the train. Above all, we need to
become fully informed about these issues and help
others understand them. It’s not too late
to apply the brakes. This is a real picture in the
Gare de Montparnasse in Paris, where this train,
unfortunately, did not apply its brakes in time– pleased to say our center has
focused all of our energies on trying to achieve
some of these goals. We have taught a
course for six years at Harvard Medical School
called Human Health and Global Environmental Change. Professor Molina has
spoken in the course on ozone depletion, Ed Wilson
on loss of biodiversity. We bring people from all over
the country and world to speak. It’s open to students at MIT. And you’ll be there with Harvard
Medical students, students from the Harvard School of
Public Health, the Kennedy School, and other schools. It’s very highly ranked. And it’s also completely
online on our website– all the lectures
as streaming video, all the readings as PDF files. Anyone in the world with
at least a 56K modem can take the entire course, free
of charge, and hundreds have, around the world. We do work on the Congress. We’ve held eight congressional
briefings so far, the last one on bushmeat in
primates and HIV/AIDS with Jane Goodall. That’s also completely
on our website. Every year, in the spring,
we hold a intensive course on the environment and health
for congressional staffers, which has become very popular. And because of that,
we’ve been asked to design a course for broadcast
meteorologists on television and radio about the links
of climate and weather to the environment
and human health. We’re working on an exhibit
at the New England Aquarium on oceans and health. And we’re working on this
project with the United Nations on biodiversity
and human health. Well, I want to close with
a final personal comment. I believe we are incredibly
lucky to be alive at this moment in history, for
the changes to the environment that I’ve spoken about are
caused by our own behavior. And we have the
ability, our generation, especially those of us in
the most powerful country on the planet,
especially those of us in this room, who are among the
most privileged and influential members of this society– we have the ability to
turn these changes around– and that in destroying
other species and ecosystems and degrading the global
environment in which we all live, we’re doing
something that is not just morally wrong, it is deeply
and shamefully ignorant, for we’re tampering with life
support systems of the planet with the physical and chemical
and biological systems of this Earth in ways
we barely understand that are bound to have profound
consequences for the health and lives of our children,
and for all children to come. We can, and we must, protect
this incredibly wondrous gift that we have been given. And I urge all of you to
join me and my colleagues in this effort. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] [INAUDIBLE] GRAY: Mario and Eric,
thank you very, very much. We’ve had here this
evening lucid descriptions of the issues that face
us, six billion of us, and what we are doing
to our environment. And we’ve had clarion
calls to what we must– the ways in which
we must take action. I hope that all of us,
as we leave here tonight, will think on those
calls to action and push in directions that will
ameliorate the changes we are forcing, six billion of
us, on the environment for our children
and grandchildren. We have a few minutes
for questions here. There are two microphones,
one in the foot of each aisle. This is being videocast. So I’d appreciate it if
people who want to speak would come down to
the microphones. And Professor Molina and
Dr. Chivian will respond. Yes, sir? AUDIENCE: I was wondering
if you could just say a word about some
of the scientists, and I know they’re a relatively
small minority, who would dispute some of your findings. And I’d also like
to ask if you think that one of the main reasons
why people don’t realize what’s going on, the average person, is
because they think that science is black and white and
they don’t understand it, in general, science is
always in a state of flux. And there’s an old
saying that it only advances one funeral at a time. And so how can this
kind of information reach the public, because
if everyone in the public were here listening to
you tonight, no doubt, they would feel very
differently if they understood what the scientific
consensus is, the vast majority of
scientists and how they think? MOLINA: Let me start
with [INAUDIBLE].. I think this is a question
we should both answer. But let me give a
brief first answer. I think part of
the explanation is there are, of course,
some scientists that have some special interests. And so maybe you can explain
part of their behavior because they want to
protect those interests. But there are other
scientists that appear to be in good faith. They question what’s– the sort
of things that we talk about. In my opinion, some of these
apparently divergent way of responding to what’s going
on around us have to do with– one of the points I tried
to make of what is science and what is not science. For example, in order
to assess the question whether you should worry
about these issues, you also have to
take into account what are the consequence
of certain actions. Will the economy suffer? Well, if we talk about
uncertainties in the science, there are even
larger uncertainties in terms of how the economy will
respond to suggested changes. From the example
with CFCs, there were people that worry that
millions of jobs would be lost and billions of
dollars would be lost. That turned out
not to be the case. So in my own
personal experience, that was exaggerated. But something similar is– can certainly happen with
a climate change issue. With biodiversity, I guess
much of it is really ignorance. There are not many people
that are sufficiently well-informed to realize
how much in trouble we are, as Dr. Chivian really
explained very clearly. CHIVIAN: Nice going. I didn’t mean to
imply in any way that scientists who disagree
with some of the things I said or not doing that out
of valid scientific questions– clearly, there
are many that are. I do believe that with the
issue of climate change and loss of biodiversity, there’s
pretty great consensus in the scientific
community that these are real problems and
great agreement about what is at stake. But I want to tell you an
anecdote, which was really quite revealing to me. I go to the Congress
a few months before designing this course
for congressional staffers. And one of the aides, in
giving his ideas about what lectures we should
hold, mentioned that we should go to this– one of the think tanks
that I mentioned and bring in one of the other
views on climate change to balance
out the view that we might have from someone who was
part of the Intergovernmental Panel. And one of the things he said
I found rather very disturbing. And it revealed to me how
little understanding there is about the way of– the working of science and
how science should really advise policy. He said, well, that person
has as much a valid– as valid a view– hadn’t published anything in
the peer-reviewed literature, but has a strongly held view. And it’s equally
valid to someone, say, from the IPCC or the
National Academy. And he said, it’s
just a point of view. It’s a belief system. That is, science is
one belief system. And another skeptical
point of view that is not necessarily
based on science is an equally valid
belief system. And I think that really is our
fault because if there’s that much– this is a fairly senior
aide in a very senior office in the Senate– if there’s that much
misunderstanding about how science works,
because as you have said, Mario, and I think you’ve
implied, the uncertainty is interpreted as a point of
view that if science is not– if you can’t prove
cause and effect, then you really
have no more reason to state that view
than someone who has a different point of view. I think we’re not doing
a terribly good job in communicating with
policymakers or the public. And I think we really
need to think more about how to do that in a
way that is understandable. And because of this view, we’re
going to have a whole morning session about how science works,
how hypotheses are tested, the issue of
uncertainty, because I think there was so
little understanding of the role of science. GRAY: Yes, please? AUDIENCE: It’s a great honor
to be here because I’ve taken classes with both of you. I’m a student of both of you. And one of the things
that often was brought up in the course at Harvard,
as well as brought up again and again in the
scientific community dealing with environmental
issues, is the role of the media in
communicating information to the general public,
raising awareness. And of course, connected to
that is the role that scientists have to play in making
sure correct information and easily understandable
information is given to the media. There seems to be a certain
degree of misunderstanding how that should be done. Scientists somehow think that
just science is so clear, that the facts are so clear,
they just put it out there. And a media person from New York
Times or Newsweek, whatever, will pick it up and be able
to deliver the right way. Could you say a little bit
about the responsibility of people who are studying this
field in actually taking time out and spending
time with the media or having an outreach to really
make people understand not just the fact that science is factual
and based on experiments done, but also that it actually
relates to everyday lives? MOLINA: OK. Let me start with
some comments there. I agree with you. We scientists do
have a responsibility to communicate,
particularly with the media, because that’s one way to
communicate with the public. There is, however, some sort
of tradition which I think is disappearing. But the tradition in the
old way of doing science is to consider yourself
above the masses. And so you develop a language
that only peers can understand, sort of the ivory tower image. If you exaggerate
that, that’s even, for this sort of
thinking– comes that if your science has
some sort of application, it becomes dirty. It’s no longer a pure
science, as if though there’s a pure and an impure science. But in any event I’m very
much in agreement with you that it’s important to be able
to communicate your science, particularly if the science
can have impacts to society. And one more point, which
actually connects this view with us being– working at universities
and try to teach– I think if you really understand
well some of the problems that you’re dealing
with, you should be able to put it
in plain language. It does require a very
clear understanding. And it’s not easy. You have to work at that. I guess we both have
spent quite a bit of time talking to reporters. And we’ve learned how to
communicate with them. Fortunately, at least here
in the United States now, there are societies of
environmental journalism. But it takes time. It takes an effort. You have to develop some sort
of a connection with them. So it’s a continued effort. We cannot give that up. But we should really
train all our students to be aware of the
problem and to try to be able to explain their
findings in common language. I think it’s an
important thing to do. CHIVIAN: I totally agree. And there is a group called
the National Association of Science Writers. It’s quite large. It has its annual meeting
during the AAAS meetings. And there also is this
environmental science writer group. They’re very
interested in speaking with people in the
sciences and public health. And as Professor
Molina said, I think we need to be very
cognizant of the language we use so that they can really
understand that there’s almost nothing more important
than that, in my view, because they are reaching
millions of people. But I did want to go back
to this point I made before. I think there’s something
sort of fundamentally amiss with some of the
reporting about science and about any issue because
the media, in many ways, is structured to
have opposing views– Nightline is the prime example– so that someone from
the National Academy of Science talking
about climate change will be debating someone
like Rush Limbaugh. And that kind of
fight, that kind of polar opposite
polarizing of views, is something that our media,
and I think not just our media, but other media, tend
to lean to because it’s watched journalism. We can see it on– what’s
that program where everyone’s shouting at each
other all the time? So that kind of
polarization of views tends to give the
impression to the viewer that these are two equally
valid viewpoints, even if one is very far over to one side. And that’s a real
problem, I think, in terms of public understanding. GRAY: Nice question. At this microphone? AUDIENCE: Hi. I know that where
I live, for one, we seem to heat our rooms
with the air exhausted from the cooling fans of
our Pentium 4 Linux boxes. [LAUGHTER] And I was maybe curious
on a couple of counts that, first, I was
wondering if either of you ever had any personal guilt
attacks that something you’re doing was being
environmentally destructive. And I know driving
the Saab might be better than driving an SUV. CHIVIAN: But it could
be still better. AUDIENCE: Could be–
definitely be far still better. I would love to retrofit that
Saab with fuel cell engines. [LAUGHTER] But I was wondering, first, if
there are any personal guilt attacks that you had
experienced in that regard and, on the other hand,
if there’s anything– really, even
anything anecdotal– that you consider noteworthy and
a situation you have personally ameliorated. MOLINA: Let me start with– I’ll just make [INAUDIBLE]. But I have had guilt attacks. But there are many things
we can do personally. However– but I worried about,
in terms of having the most impact possible on the
way things function– is to communicate directly
with our decision makers. That doesn’t mean
we still shouldn’t do personal things, like the– Dr. Chivian very eloquently put. But some of the roots
of the problem– so you mentioned about some
situations with energy. Some of the roots
of the problem is that energy is just far too
cheap because it’s not really considering the actual costs
of environmental effects. It’s what we call externalities. And they can be [INAUDIBLE] So just to give you an example
how I sort of counteract these guilt attacks, I’m–
belong to a group now, an energy commission,
which is nonpartisan. We have people
from all spectra– industry, Republicans,
Democrats, and so on. And one of the achievements
of this group– and I must say, I’m [? not ?]
advocating that group– is to come up with
recommendations such as this one, that energy
should be more expensive. That doesn’t go along
the current thinking of the administration. But if a group like this
makes strong statements and it’s clearly not an
extreme liberal leftist group, I expect it to have
a large impact. So to me, that’s an
important action. But there are lots
of things personally that we should be doing. Perhaps I should let
Eric do the other part. CHIVIAN: Well, if I didn’t
make this clear before, I’m a psychiatrist. I practice clinically. It’s always very difficult
to ask a psychiatrist how he or she is
feeling about anything. [LAUGHTER] And if you ask us about guilt– [LAUGHTER] Let me tell you, no, I clearly– I used to drive my car to
work until my wife shamed me. And we have a battle. I turn off lights in the room. But she walks everywhere. So now I walk everywhere. Clearly, all of us
can do things better. But I actually
think guilt is not a good motivator for change. I think if you
speak to an audience and you make everybody
feel guilty about what they’re doing, that’s not
going to get anywhere. I think people get
their backs up. They get defensive. They rationalize what they’re
doing, or they turn you off. So I don’t think
that is a good way. And we’ve struggled
with this in the work we’ve done with nuclear weapons
and with the environment. I think what people need to hear
is that, one, the situation is not hopeless, there are
things that we can change, and there are things that will
have great benefit and value, and that all of us are
a part of the solution, and that added collective value
has great benefit for society. So I think that’s
a much better way of approaching these issues. But since I have the floor
still, I would like to propose, since, if I remember from
my late teens and early 20s, I loved competition
and was competitive– and I would love to see MIT
dorms compete for who can have the best recycling program,
which dorm can use the least amount of energy per capita– why not have
something like that– or which dorm at MIT can
use less energy per capita than a dorm at Harvard– [LAUGHTER] –or Caltech. [LAUGHTER] GRAY: Two quick matters
before we adjourn– the next lectures in this
series, the Ford MIT Series, will occur here on
the– not in this room, but on the 23rd of September. The two speakers will be
two Institute professors, Phillip Sharp from the
department of biology and Jerome Friedman from
the department of physics. And the title is
National Security Issues and the Impact on Research. There is a reception following
this meeting in the Bush Lobby, Building 13 Lobby,
which is about 50 feet in that direction. If you go out into
the corridor behind me and go down the stairs, at
the end of that corridor, it’ll bring you right
into the Bush Lobby. Please join me, once again,
in thanking our speakers. [APPLAUSE]

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