Monthly Archives: January 2013

Generation Anthropocene: Climate Geoengineering (Granger Morgan)

Morgan-Granger-headshotIn our changing climate, wouldn’t life be simpler if we had a thermostat we could dial down the earth’s temperature with?

It turns out we do, actually. And a few billion dollars is all it would take to deploy a version of solar-radiation management (SRM), one form of geoengineering.  SRM uses stratospheric aerosol particles to shade the earth’s surface from incoming sunlight, thus lowering temperature. Whether or not it would be nice to ‘turn the dial’ on this atmospheric thermostat is another matter though.

To wrap our heads around how geoengineering works, we sat down with Granger Morgan, a Carnegie Mellon professor and director of the Center for Climate and Energy Decision Making.  He discusses whether we should use geoengineering or not, the geopolitics behind the idea, and the ethical and moral dimensions of controlling the earth’s temperature.  Above all, Morgan argues that we urgently need more scientific research to understand the possible side-effects of deploying geoengineering.

This interview was conducted by both Ellis and Daniel for the Generation Anthropocene podcast at Stanford University. Also, check out Ellis’ write-up for the interview on Grist: http://grist.org/climate-energy/geoengineering-expert-tinkering-with-the-climate-is-tempting-also-kind-of-insane/

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Generation Anthropocene: Life in the PostNatural

Pell-Richard-150x150How much does a genetically-engineered tomato have in common with your dog? A lot more than you might think.

Both are shining examples of PostNatural organisms, a term Rich Pell, assistant professor of Art at Carnegie Mellon, uses to describe living things whose evolutionary path has been controlled by humans. He is the curator of the Center for PostNatural History in Pittsburgh, a one-of-a-kind museum dedicated to classifying, cataloguing, and archiving PostNatural organisms.

In this interview, Pell gives a tour of his museum, explains the story of postnaturalism, and discusses visitors’ reactions to his project.  This interview was written and recorded by Ellis for the Generation Anthropocene podcast at Stanford University (http://www.stanford.edu/group/anthropocene/cgi-bin/wordpress/).

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