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The Land Grabbers: the New Fight over Who Owns the Earth - talk by Fred Pearce

Fred Pearce, The Landgrabbers, cover image

Wednesday 13 February 2013, 6.30PM to 8.30 pm

Speaker(s): Fred Pearce

Fred Pearce was described by The Times as one of the Britain’s finest science writers. He is an environment consultant of New Scientist magazine and writes regularly in British newspapers such as The Guardian and the Mail on Sunday.  His many books have been published in 20 languages.

Fred will be here discussing his latest book, focusing on the phenomenon of ‘land-grabbing’. As he says in the book:

"Soaring grain prices and fears about future food supplies are triggering a global land grab. Gulf sheikhs, Chinese state corporations, Wall Street speculators, Russian oligarchs, Indian microchip billionaires, doomsday fatalists Midwestern missionaries, and City of London hedge-fund slickers are scouring the globe for cheap land to feed their people, their bottom lines, or their consciences. Chunks of land the size of small countries are exchanging hands for a song. So who precisely are the buyers-and whose land is being taken over?"

Fred interviewed investors and local peoples involved in land grabs around the globe, from Africa, to America and Asia. He will explain the emergence of a new politics of food and agriculture, identifying the main features of land grabbing, the actors involved and the consequences for those affected.

Fred was voted Environment Journalist of the Year in the 2001 British Environment and Media Awards. His acclaimed When the Rivers Run Dry was selected as one of the Top 50 Sustainability Books of all time, voted for by the University of Cambridge's Programme for Sustainability Leadership alumni network. Confessions of an Eco Sinner, was long-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize and was the winner of a 2008 IVCA Clarion Award. (


The session will include Q&A and opportunity for further discussion following the talk.

All welcome.

Location: Seminar room RCH/204, Ron Cooke Hub, Heslington East Campus, University of York

Admission: Free