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Earth Island Journal and Grist invite you to attend:

Hack the Sky?

A Public Debate on Geoengineering
Featuring Ken Caldeira and Clive Hamilton

Thursday, May 9, 2013 Buy Tickets
7 p.m.
The David Brower Center,
2150 Allston Way, one block from Downtown Berkeley BART

Since the scale of the climate change crisis became clear, our response has focused on trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to maintain the climate at something like the pre-industrial status quo. But what if that is no longer possible? With the world’s nations unwilling to reduce their emissions, a growing number of scientists say we need to begin researching “geoengineering” — ways to artificially reduce sunlight or manipulate plants or the oceans to absorb huge amounts of CO2.

artwork depicting a disembodied hand applying a wrench to the sun in the skyThe prospect of geoengineering involves a dangerous gamble. Do we risk toying with the entire atmosphere to save it from ourselves? Can we afford not to?

Ken Caldeira, an atmospheric scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University, argues that we need to research geoengineering so that if climate change starts looking catastrophic, we would be ready to consider deployment. “Planetary manipulation of the atmosphere to blunt the worst effects of global warming won’t address the root causes of climate change. But it might someday be able to alleviate suffering for hundreds of millions of people – and that is reason enough to study it,” Caldeira says.

Clive Hamilton, a professor of ethics at Charles Sturt University in Australia, warns that we should be cautious about pursuing such Promethean schemes. Hamilton says: “Geoengineering, if it works at all, can only be a provisional response, a path that merely puts off the day of reckoning.” He is the author of Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering, just published by Yale University Press.

Buy TicketsJoin Earth Island Journal for what promises to be a provocative discussion about a technology that is likely to pose an excruciating dilemma for environmentalists.

About Earth Island Journal

magazine cover thumbnail imageOur quarterly magazine combines investigative journalism and thought-provoking essays that make the subtle but profound connections between the environment and other contemporary issues.

Our mix of hard-hitting exposés and inspiring stories of grassroots movements for sustainability has won us numerous awards through the years. We have won a half dozen Project Censored Awards for uncovering stories ignored by larger media outlets. On three occasions, Utne Reader has recognized the Journal for top environmental coverage, most recently in 2007, when the Utne editors wrote: “The environment is surely the biggest news story of our day, and we’re glad Earth Island Journal is on it.”

The Journal’s unique brand of environmental journalism is a key resource for anyone eager to help protect our shared planet.

About Grist

Laugh now – or the planet gets it.

Grist logoGrist has been dishing out environmental news and commentary with a wry twist since 1999 – which, to be frank, was way before most people cared about such things. Now that green is in every headline and on every store shelf (bamboo hair gel, anyone?), Grist is the one site you can count on to help you make sense of it all.

Each day, we use our Clarity-o-Meter to draw out the real meaning behind green stories, and to connect big issues like climate change to daily life. We count on our users to bring their stories to the table, too – through blogs, photos, and whatever else they care to share. Except Jell-O molds. Those things scare us.

About Earth Island Institute

Earth Island Institue globe logoEarth Island Institute grows environmental leadership through education and activism.  Our projects, publications, and initiatives support the biological and cultural diversity that sustain the environment. Earth Island was founded by environmental visionary, David Brower [1912-2000], in 1982. Today, we are the organizational home to a diverse network of more than 60 issue-focused environmental education and advocacy projects.

Earth Island Institute
at the David Brower Center
2150 Allston Way, Suite 460
Berkeley, CA 94704-1375 USA
Phone: (510) 859-9100 / Fax: (510) 859-9091