1 This chapter is expanded from a speech given by Andrew Simms, policy director and head of the Climate Change Programme at the New Economics Foundation, to the UN ECOSOC special session on climate change and the MDGs, New York, 2 May 2008.

2 Because we can't know the future for certain, our climate change scientists use computer-based climate models to project plausible scenarios, or projections, for coming centuries. It is important to be aware that projections from climate models are always subject to uncertainty because of limitations on our knowledge of how the climate system works and on the computing resources available. Different climate models can give different projections. See more on using computer models at

3 Hansen's testimony on climate change to congressional committees during the 1980s helped to raise broad awareness of global warming and his continuing advocacy for the science of climate change has been influential in shifting the policy debate in the US and globally. He has been a critic of both the Clinton and Bush administrations' position on climate change.

4 The ecological footprint is a measure of human demand on the Earth's ecosystems. It compares human demand with planet Earth's ecological capacity to regenerate. It represents the amount of biologically productive land and sea area needed to regenerate the resources that a human population consumes and to absorb and render harmless the corresponding waste. Using this assessment, it is possible to estimate how much of the Earth (or how many planet Earths) it would take to support humanity if everybody lived a given lifestyle. Humanity's total ecological footprint is estimated at 1.3 - in other words, humanity needs 1.3 Earths in order to sustain our collective lifestyle. This is just one of many varying figures on the global ecological footprint.

5 The New Deal was the name that US President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave to a sequence of programmes he initiated between 1933 and 1936 with the goal of giving work (relief) to the unemployed, reform of business and financial practices, and recovery of the economy during the Great Depression.

6 A. C. Grayling's main areas of interest in technical philosophy lie at the intersection of theory of knowledge, metaphysics and philosophical logic. He brings these subjects together in an attempt to define the relationship between mind and world, and in so doing he is, among other things, challenging philosophical scepticism.

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