The University of Arizona

SWCCN Book Club: THIS WEEK - Focus on Geoengineering!

February 13, 2012
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Ready to discuss climate change and geoengineering? As we announced a few weeks back, we’ll be hosting both online and in-person discussions focused on this topic and the book: Hack the Planet: Science’s Best Hope – or Worst Nightmare – for Averting Climate Catastrophe by Eli Kintisch (Wiley, 2010).

The discussion will be led by Professor Jonathan Overpeck (Department of Geosciences and Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Arizona) and special guest Professor Christopher Cokinos (Professor of English at the University of Arizona and award-winning nature writer). Chris has written about geoengineering, dubbing the concept “Prozac for the Planet.”

Here’s the plan: FIRST, on Wednesday, Feb 15th, I’ll get a provocative discussion going with a new blog post here, and we’ll be open for comments and discussion (remember to log in to the website in order to read and write comments). SECOND, on Friday the 17th, we’ll discuss the book and related topics in person (with both Peck and Chris) between 2 and 4PM in the Marshall Building at the University of Arizona, room 531 (click here for directions/parking info). We will continue to use this SW Climate Blog to discuss the book online, so make sure you’re signed up to participate.

Is geoengineering going to save the Earth? Wreak havoc? Is it smart or unethical to at least research geoengineering options? What are the pros and cons? What are the alternatives? Get involved this week to learn more!

I enjoyed delving into the

I enjoyed delving into the details of geoengineering and gaining a much better understanding of the pros and cons of this controversial subject. Hack the Planet clearly conveys the potential benefits as well as the vast uncertainty and risk surrounding plans to cool the planet using aerosols, cloud whitening, and other technologically audacious methods. I came away thinking that, given the lack of progress on emissions reduction, society needs to invest in geoengineering research so that we can better comprehend the costs, risks and potential rewards of "technofixes" that seem dubious now but may become necessary as "dangerous climante change" (Hansen's term) becomes a reality. I recommend as a complement to HTP a hopeful book called Mad Like Tesla: Underdog Inventors and their Relentless Pursuit of Clean Energy, in which author Tyler Hamilton profiles scientists, inventors, academics and entrepreneurs dedicated to finding cleaner alternatives to fossil fuels and climate-friendly sources of energy. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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