Hacking the Planet (start time: 10:24): It’s tough to wrap one’s mind around just how monumental and consequential the problem of climate change is. So dire that scientist and engineers for years have been exploring ways to “hack” the planet–to manipulate the global climate system enough to significantly reduce planet-warming gases or increase the Earth’s ability to reflect solar radiation. This audacious scheme, called geoengineering, only exists because many scientists think that human behavioral change, industry regulations, international treaties and national legislation, have not done enough — can not do enough – to keep us from careening toward climate catastrophe.
Our guests today have given this huge challenge a lot of thought and some research. Dr. Lisa Dilling is an associate professor of Environmental Studies at CU Boulder and a fellow at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, or CIRES. Dr. David Fahey is a physicist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. He directs the Chemical Sciences Division at NOAA’s Earth System Research Lab in Boulder.
Some relevant materials on geoengineering:
2017 study on public perception of climate change;
2015 National Research Council committee evaluation of proposed climate-intervention tchniques.
Hosts: Susan Moran, Joel Parker Producer: Susan Moran Engineer: Joel Parker Contributor: Chip Grandits Executive Producer: Susan Moran
Sometimes when we are having personal or health problems, it helps to get an outside perspective: talk to other friends who have experienced similar problems and how they dealt with them, and other friends about how they avoided those problems. Talk to experts. Then using all that input, we try to make the best choice to solve the problems and to live a long and happy life. This is perhaps the situation we find ourselves in now with the health of our environment and the long-term viability of the human race. So where to we look for that “outside perspective” and expert help? The answer may be: look to other planets and talk to those who study them. This is the approach astrobiologist Dr. David Grinspoon takes in his new book: “Earth in Human Hands: Shaping Our Planet’s Future”. Dr. Grinspoon is a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado, and in 2013 he was appointed the inaugural Chair of Astrobiology at the Library of Congress. We had a chance to talk with Dr. Grinspoon about how he compares Earth’s story to those of other planets, and how our present moment is not only one of peril, but also great potential, especially when viewed from a 10,000-year perspective.