Thomas Homer-Dixon

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August 28th, 2015 —

Complexity Science

Homer-Dixon, Thomas, “Complexity Science,” Oxford Leadership Journal, January 2011, 2(1). An article based on the Canada School of Public Service’s 2010 John L. Manion Lecture, entitled “Complexity, Crisis and Change: Implications for the Federal Public Service.” “Complexity science isn’t a fad. I will offer a brief survey of some core concepts and ideas, and I [...]

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August 28th, 2015 —

Synchronous Failure: The Emerging Causal Architecture of Global Crisis

Synchronous Failure: The Emerging Causal Architecture of Global Crisis with Brian Walker, Reinette Biggs, Anne-Sophie Crépin, Carl Folke, Eric F. Lambin, Garry D. Peterson, Johan Rockström, Marten Scheffer, Will Steffen,  and Max Troell Ecology and Society 2015, 20(3): 6. Recent global crises reveal an emerging pattern of causation that could increasingly characterize the birth and [...]

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October 30th, 2008 —

Climate Change, the Arctic, and Canada: Avoiding Yesterday’s Analysis of Tomorrow’s Crisis

Canadian policy makers should shift their attention and resources commensurately. While policymakers, wedded to an outmoded worldview, fret about what Arctic climate change might do to national power directly in the basin, human wellbeing could be devastated around the world by cascading consequences of shifts in the Arctic’s energy balance. Ironically, these changes could – in the end – do far more damage to state-centric world order and even to states’ narrowly defined interests than any interstate conflicts we might see happen in the newly blue waters of the Arctic.

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January 1st, 2008 —

Positive Feedbacks, Dynamic Ice Sheets, and the Recarbonization of the Global Fuel Supply: The New Sense of Urgency about Global Warming

A Globally Integrated Climate Policy for Canada, University of Toronto Press, 2008. I am delighted to be here to talk about my understanding of the current state of climate science. I should start by saying that I am not trained as a climate scientist, although I have been working in the area and reading the [...]

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December 1st, 2007 —

With Cracks and Holes in the Greenland Ice Sheet, We May Well Have to “Geo-Engineer” the Climate

Next week, policy-makers, scientists and activists from around the world will gather in Bali, Indonesia, to try to produce a climate-change agreement that will take us beyond the 2012 expiration of the Kyoto Accord. This meeting will take place in an atmosphere of sharply heightened unease among leading climate scientists.

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October 4th, 2007 —

A Swiftly Melting Planet

The Arctic ice cap melted this summer at a shocking pace, disappearing at a far higher rate than predicted by even the most pessimistic experts in global warming. But we shouldn’t be shocked, because scientists have long known that major features of earth’s interlinked climate system of air and water can change abruptly.

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April 25th, 2007 —

Conflict in a Nonlinear World

On April 25, 2007, Thomas Homer-Dixon presented the Ingar Moen Memorial Lecture to the Science and Technology Symposium of Defence Research and Development Canada on “Conflict in a Nonlinear World: Complex Adaptation at the Intersection of Energy, Climate, and Security.”

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October 2nd, 2003 —

Ingenuity Theory: Can Humankind Create a Sustainable Civilization?

My research is inspired by several key questions: Are we creating a world that’s too complex to manage? Do the “experts” really know what’s going on? Are we really as smart as we think we are? And, most importantly, Can we solve the problems of the future?

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January 1st, 2002 —

The Rise of Complex Terrorism

Modern societies face a cruel paradox: Fast-paced technological and economic innovations may deliver unrivalled prosperity, but they also render rich nations vulnerable to crippling, unanticipated attacks. By relying on intricate networks and concentrating vital assets in small geographic clusters, advanced Western nations only amplify the destructive power of terrorists and the psychological and financial damage they can inflict.

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