Climate change is a reality and a very important threat that we will face over a long period of time but it’s not the only threat we face. There are a lot of vulnerabilities we need to be sensitive to. I hope the humanitarian sector doesn’t see its world being shaped by climate change alone. Climate change is a major issue and perhaps reflects a degree of intellectual laziness because if we probe harder there are a great many deeply serious vulnerabilities. What happens when we have a cyber attack and all systems break down?
That isn’t a long-term, slow issue like climate change. It’s immediate systems collapse. So when you put your credit card in to get that loaf of bread, you don’t have it. When you’re trying to transfer money to some relative in Kenya you can’t do it. When you’re trying to fly relief foods into Haiti you can’t get off the tarmac. Basically there are a lot of potential crises and crisis drivers we should be focussing on as well as climate change, bearing in mind always that it’s not merely the threat we should be concentrating on but also the unbelievable opportunities offered by science, technology and social science. So for every major crisis there are extraordinary opportunities to mitigate that crisis, to prevent and prepare for that crisis and that’s the balance we’ve got to achieve together.