Professor Martyn Poliakoff, CBE FRS – who looks like a jolly good fellow, as you can see – is Research Professor in Chemistry at the U.K.’s University of Nottingham. He’s also an Honorary Professor of Chemistry at Moscow State University, and currently serves as the Foreign Secretary and Vice President of the Royal Society (RS). Poliakoff is also known for his popular video series, The Periodic Table of Videos.
The RS website also notes that Poliakoff is a
green chemist, working on gaining insights into fundamental chemistry and on developing environmentally acceptable chemical processes and materials.
Hmmm … “environmentally acceptable” that’s a new one – at least to me. I wonder how one determines whether a product, process or material is “environmentally acceptable” (EA) – as opposed to “environmentally friendly” (EF) – and which of the two is better, or the best! But I digress …
One Side Event on June 13, was entitled “People and the Planet: Population, consumption and the environment” and it was presented by (drum roll please ….) “The Royal Society of the UK, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and the African Institute for Development Policy”.
We are told that <bureaucratic word salad alert>:
This event focused on how both changing population dynamics and increasing levels of material consumption present long-lasting challenges to human health and wellbeing, and to the natural environment.
Poliakoff, presumably wearing his “green chemist” and RS Foreign Secretary hats, was the first panelist. Here’s the quasi-official précis of his presentation (and a pic of Poliakoff waving the Society’s “little red book”):
[Poliakoff] presented his organization’s report on “People and the Planet,” which linked population, consumption and the environment. He stressed the important role of scientists in the sustainability policy discussion and in ensuring that natural resources are more efficiently used. He also emphasized that 1.3 billion people need to consume more basic materials to lift themselves out of poverty, while many in developed countries must consume less by learning to use natural resources more efficiently. [emphasis added -hro]
One wonders if the “many” who “must consume less” excludes those who travel the world telling the rest of us to do so.
This is The Future We Want?! Nah, I don’t think so, do you?