Commonwealth National Podcast

Geo-engineering: Global Salvation or Ruin?


Geo-engineering: Global Salvation or Ruin?


Ken Caldeira, Professor, Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution
Albert Lin, Professor, UC Davis School of Law
David Whelan, Chief Scientist, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems


Should humans address man-made rising temperatures and sea levels by tinkering further with Mother Nature? A lively debate about such geo-engineering burst into the mainstream recently with reference to Caldeira’s work in the final chapter of the popular book SuperFreakonomics. Now this panel takes a measured look at the good, bad and ugly of what could and should be done. What is technically feasible? How could such tactics be tested? What are the risks? How would such a program be governed? Does the mere mention of geo-engineering take the steam out of efforts to reduce carbon pollution and create a moral hazard?


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on February 23, 2010.

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