As discussions about climate change continue, one particular response has gained currency: "solar geoengineering." The process involves filling our atmosphere with particles that will reflect sunlight back into space. In his much-discussed new book The Uninhabitable Earth, David Wallace-Wells calls it "polluting the air on purpose." Proponents argue this process would be inexpensive and effective at mediating some of climate change's worst effects, but challengers argue these techniques do not address the underlying issues, potentially giving the worst polluters a free pass and presenting unintended consequences. On Thursday, April 18, veteran debate series Intelligence Squared U.S. continues their investigations into science and technology with a live debate on the motion "Engineering Solar Radiation Is a Crazy Idea."
Arguing in favor of the motion are climate change author Clive Hamilton, who was appointed by the Australian government to the Climate Change Authority in 2012, and Oxford scholar Anjali Viswamohanan. Arguing against it are Harvard professor David Keith, one of TIME magazine's “Heroes of the Environment," and UCLA professor Ted Parson, a former consultant for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
The debate will be held at NYC's Kaye Playhouse and stream live online, then air soon after as part of the syndicated public radio show and podcast "Intelligence Squared U.S." On April 18, online viewers can tune in at IQ2US's website: https://www.intelligencesquaredus.org/debates/engineering-solar-radiation-crazy-idea
WHAT: Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates "Engineering Solar Radiation Is a Crazy Idea"
WHEN: Thursday, April 18 / 7:00-8:45 PM EDT
WHERE: The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, 115 E. 68th Street, New York, NY
TICKETS: $40 ($12 for students w/ ID). To purchase, visit http://www.intelligencesquaredus.org/
Arguing For the Motion
* Clive Hamilton: Professor & Author, “Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering”
Clive Hamilton is a professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University in Canberra. Previously, he founded the Australia Institute, a leading progressive think tank, and he was appointed by the Australian government to the Climate Change Authority in 2012. His books on climate change include “Requiem for a Species: Why We Resist the Truth About Climate Change,” “Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering,” and “Defiant Earth: The Fate of Humans in the Anthropocene.” Most recently, Hamilton is the author of “Silent Invasion: China’s Influence in Australia,” which became an immediate best-seller.
* Anjali Viswamohanan: Scholar, Oxford
Anjali Viswamohanan is a Chevening scholar at the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University and an energy policy enthusiast. She focuses on developing and assessing the feasibility of energy transition scenarios in response to the perpetually evolving technology mix. Viswamohanan has previously worked with the Council on Energy, Environment and Water in New Delhi on renewable energy policy, finance, and governance issues. She is a lawyer by training and has worked at some of India’s top law firms on energy projects and public-private partnerships in the Indian infrastructure space.
Arguing Against the Motion
* David Keith: Professor, Harvard & Founder, Carbon Engineering
David Keith has worked near the interface between climate science, energy technology, and public policy for 25 years. Best known for his work on the science, technology, and public policy of solar geoengineering, he led the development of Harvard’s Solar Geoengineering Research Program. He took first prize in Canada's national physics prize exam, won MIT’s prize for excellence in experimental physics, and was one of TIME magazine's “Heroes of the Environment.” Keith is a professor at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Harvard Kennedy School, and is the founder of Carbon Engineering, a company developing technology to capture CO2 from ambient air.
* Ted Parson: Professor, UCLA
Edward Parson is the faculty co-director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA, where he is also the Dan and Rae Emmett professor of environmental law. Parson studies international environmental law and policy, the role of science and technology in policymaking, and the political economy of regulation. His books include “The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change” and “Protecting the Ozone Layer: Science and Strategy,” which won the International Studies Association’s Sprout award. He has worked and consulted for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the U.N. Environment Program.
ABOUT INTELLIGENCE SQUARED U.S. DEBATES (IQ2US)
A non-partisan, non-profit organization, Intelligence Squared U.S. was founded in 2006 to address a fundamental problem in America: the extreme polarization of our nation and our politics. Their mission is to restore critical thinking, facts, reason, and civility to American public discourse. The award-winning debate series reaches over 30 million American households through multi-platform distribution, including radio, television, live streaming, podcasts, interactive digital content, and on-demand apps on Roku and Apple TV. With over 150 debates and counting, Intelligence Squared U.S. has encouraged the public to "think twice" on a wide range of provocative topics. Author and ABC News correspondent John Donvan has moderated IQ2US since 2008.