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Could humanity be sustainable? It's not as hopeless as you think

Global warming, pollution, deforestation—it's easy to feel a sense of doom about our planet. But data scientist Hannah Ritchie says the numbers on sustainability are more hopeful than we might assume.

About Hannah Ritchie

Hannah Ritchie is deputy editor and research lead at Our World in Data, an online publication making data and research on the world's largest problems accessible and understandable for non-experts. She is also a senior researcher at the University of Oxford, where she studies how environmental issues intersect with others like poverty, global health and education. She has done extensive research into the question of how to feed everyone in the world a nutritious diet without wrecking the planet. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Vox, Wired, BBC, Al Jazeera, The Economist and New Scientist.

In 2022, Ritchie was named Scotland's Youth Climate Champion. She is also an honorary fellow at the University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation, and a fellow at the Energy for Growth Hub, focused on ending global energy poverty. Her book, Not the End of the World, makes an evidence-based case for why we have a meaningful chance to solve global environmental problems for the first time in human history.

This segment of the TED Radio Hour was produced by Matthew Cloutier and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour. You can follow us on Facebook @TEDRadioHour and email us at TEDRadioHour@npr.org.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Manoush Zomorodi is the host of TED Radio Hour. She is a journalist, podcaster and media entrepreneur, and her work reflects her passion for investigating how technology and business are transforming humanity.
Matthew Cloutier is a producer for TED Radio Hour. While at the show, he has focused on stories about science and the natural world, ranging from operating Mars rovers to exploring Antarctica's hidden life. He has also pitched these kinds of episodes, including "Through The Looking Glass" and "Migration."