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Keynote Speaker Professor Dan Schrag, Director of Harvard’s Center for the Environment
Daniel P. Schrag, Director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment is this year's keynote speaker for Climate Action Day. Dr. Schrag studies climate and climate change over Earth's history and is particularly interested in how information on climate change from the geologic past can lead to better understanding of anthropogenic climate change in the future. The title of Dr. Schrag's keynote address is "Confronting Climate Change: How to Tackle the Most Challenging Problem in Human History."
Dan Schrag - The Origins Podcast with Lawrence Krauss
In this episode, Lawrence joins environmental scientist Dan Schrag at Harvard University to discuss Earth history, energy policies, and what we can expect from a future affected by climate change. (1 hour, 36 minutes)
Climate Engineering E-Books/Books
A Case for Climate Engineering by
A leading scientist argues that we must consider deploying climate engineering technology to slow the pace of global warming. Climate engineering--which could slow the pace of global warming by injecting reflective particles into the upper atmosphere--has emerged in recent years as an extremely controversial technology. And for good reason: it carries unknown risks and it may undermine commitments to conserving energy. Some critics also view it as an immoral human breach of the natural world. The latter objection, David Keith argues in A Scientist's Case for Climate Engineering, is groundless; we have been using technology to alter our environment for years. But he agrees that there are large issues at stake. A leading scientist long concerned about climate change, Keith offers no naïve proposal for an easy fix to what is perhaps the most challenging question of our time; climate engineering is no silver bullet. But he argues that after decades during which very little progress has been made in reducing carbon emissions we must put this technology on the table and consider it responsibly. That doesn't mean we will deploy it, and it doesn't mean that we can abandon efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But we must understand fully what research needs to be done and how the technology might be designed and used. This book provides a clear and accessible overview of what the costs and risks might be, and how climate engineering might fit into a larger program for managing climate change.
Publication Date: 2013-10-04
Climate Change Geoengineering by
The international community is not taking the action necessary to avert dangerous increases in greenhouse gases. Facing a potentially bleak future, the question that confronts humanity is whether the best of bad alternatives may be to counter global warming through human-engineered climate interventions. In this book, eleven prominent authorities on climate change consider the legal, policy, and philosophical issues presented by geoengineering. The book asks: When, if ever, are decisions to embark on potentially risky climate modification projects justified? If such decisions can be justified, in a world without a central governing authority, who should authorize such projects and by what moral and legal right? If states or private actors undertake geoengineering ventures absent the blessing of the international community, what recourse do the rest of us have?
Publication Date: 2013-01-01
Climate Intervention: carbon dioxide removal and reliable sequestration by
The signals are everywhere that our planet is experiencing significant climate change. It is clear that we need to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from our atmosphere if we want to avoid greatly increased risk of damage from climate change. Aggressively pursuing a program of emissions abatement or mitigation will show results over a timescale of many decades. How do we actively remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to make a bigger difference more quickly? As one of a two-book report, this volume of "Climate Intervention" discusses CDR, the carbon dioxide removal of greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere and sequestration of it in perpetuity. "Climate Intervention: Carbon Dioxide Removal and Reliable Sequestration" introduces possible CDR approaches and then discusses them in depth. Land management practices, such as low-till agriculture, reforestation and afforestation, ocean iron fertilization, and land-and-ocean-based accelerated weathering, could amplify the rates of processes that are already occurring as part of the natural carbon cycle. Other CDR approaches, such as bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration, direct air capture and sequestration, and traditional carbon capture and sequestration, seek to capture CO2 from the atmosphere and dispose of it by pumping it underground at high pressure. This book looks at the pros and cons of these options and estimates possible rates of removal and total amounts that might be removed via these methods. With whatever portfolio of technologies the transition is achieved, eliminating the carbon dioxide emissions from the global energy and transportation systems will pose an enormous technical, economic, and social challenge that will likely take decades of concerted effort to achieve. "Climate Intervention: Carbon Dioxide Removal and Reliable Sequestration" will help to better understand the potential cost and performance of CDR strategies to inform debate and decision making as we work to stabilize and reduce atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide.
Publication Date: 2015-06-17
Climate Intervention: reflecting sunlight to cool Earth by
The growing problem of changing environmental conditions caused by climate destabilization is well recognized as one of the defining issues of our time. The root problem is greenhouse gas emissions, and the fundamental solution is curbing those emissions. Climate geoengineering has often been considered to be a "last-ditch" response to climate change, to be used only if climate change damage should produce extreme hardship. Although the likelihood of eventually needing to resort to these efforts grows with every year of inaction on emissions control, there is a lack of information on these ways of potentially intervening in the climate system. As one of a two-book report, this volume of "Climate Intervention" discusses albedo modification - changing the fraction of incoming solar radiation that reaches the surface. This approach would deliberately modify the energy budget of Earth to produce a cooling designed to compensate for some of the effects of warming associated with greenhouse gas increases. The prospect of large-scale albedo modification raises political and governance issues at national and global levels, as well as ethical concerns. "Climate Intervention: Reflecting Sunlight to Cool Earth" discusses some of the social, political, and legal issues surrounding these proposed techniques. It is far easier to modify Earth's albedo than to determine whether it should be done or what the consequences might be of such an action. One serious concern is that such an action could be unilaterally undertaken by a small nation or smaller entity for its own benefit without international sanction and regardless of international consequences. Transparency in discussing this subject is critical. In the spirit of that transparency, "Climate Intervention: Reflecting Sunlight to Cool Earth" was based on peer-reviewed literature and the judgments of the authoring committee; no new research was done as part of this study and all data and information used are from entirely open sources. By helping to bring light to this topic area, this book will help leaders to be far more knowledgeable about the consequences of albedo modification approaches before they face a decision whether or not to use them.
Publication Date: 2015-06-23
A Dictionary of Environmental Quotations by
Over 3,700 quotations in 143 categories--from Acid Rain to Zoos--that provide a comprehensive collection of the wise and witty observations about our natural environment. "Three months of camp life on Lake Tahoe would restore an Egyptian mummy to his pristine vigor, and give him an appetite like an alligator. I do not mean the oldest and driest mummies, of course, but the fresher ones. The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. And why shouldn't it be?--it is the same the angels breathe."--Mark Twain, Roughing It Here are more than 3,700 quotations in 143 categories--from Acid Rain to Zoos--that provide a comprehensive collection of the wise and witty observations about our natural environment. The Dictionary of Environmental Quotations will delight, provoke, and inform readers. It is at once stimulating, entertaining, and enlightening, with quotations that provide a complete range of human thought about nature and the environment. Quotations have been drawn from a variety of documented sources, including poems, proverbs, slogans, radio, and television, congressional hearings, magazines, and newspapers. The authors of the quotes range from a philosopher in pre-Christian times to a contemporary economist, from a poet who speaks of forests to an engineer concerned with air pollutants. Organized into 143 topic areas such as Air, Conservation, Forests, Greenhouse Effect, History, Nuclear Energy, Water, Wildlife, and other subjects. The Dictionary of Environmental Quotations presents a sweeping look at the history of environmentalism as well as the issues and topics that are debated today. It includes two indexes, one by subject and one by author.
Call Number: On Display: 333.7 D554
Publication Date: 1997-12-17
An essential book that comes to grips with the events that will determine the fate of the Earth This book goes to the heart of the unfolding reality of the twenty-first century: international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have all failed, and before the end of the century Earth is projected to be warmer than it has been for 15 million years. The question "can the crisis be avoided?" has been superseded by a more frightening one, "what can be done to prevent the devastation of the living world?" And the disturbing answer, now under wide discussion both within and outside the scientific community, is to seize control of the very climate of the Earth itself. Clive Hamilton begins by exploring the range of technologies now being developed in the field of geoengineering--the intentional, enduring, large-scale manipulation of Earth's climate system. He lays out the arguments for and against climate engineering, and reveals the extent of vested interests linking researchers, venture capitalists, and corporations. He then examines what it means for human beings to be making plans to control the planet's atmosphere, probes the uneasiness we feel with the notion of exercising technological mastery over nature, and challenges the ways we think about ourselves and our place in the natural world.
Publication Date: 2013-01-01
Engineering Response to Climate Change by
A clear, concise discussion of today's hottest topics in climate change, including adapting to climate change and geo-engineering to mitigate the effects of change, Engineering Response to Climate Change, Second Edition takes on the tough questions of what to do and offers real solutions to the practical problems caused by radical changes in the Earth's climate. From energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions reduction, to climate-altering technologies, this new edition explores the latest concerns such as acidification of the ocean, energy efficiency, transportation, space solar power, and future and emerging possibilities. The editors set the stage by discussing the separate issues of the emissions of radiatively important atmospheric constituents, energy demand, energy supply, agriculture, water resources, coastal hazards, adaption strategies, and geo-engineering. They explain the difference between the natural and human drivers of climate change and describe how humans have influenced the global climate during past decades. Each chapter concludes with discussion questions, calculations, and possible research topics. See What's in the Second Edition: New conceptual tools and research necessary for problems associated with fossil fuels Cutting-edge topics such as adaption and geo-engineering The latest concerns such as acidification of the ocean, energy efficiency, transportation, and space solar power Solutions to problems caused by changes in the Earth's climate So much has changed in the 15 years since the publication of the first edition, that this is, in effect, a completely new book. However, the general theme is the same: the climate energy problem has become largely an engineering problem. With this in mind, the book explores what engineers can do to prevent, mitigate, or adapt to climate change.
Call Number: On Display: 363.738 E337
Publication Date: 2013-03-22
Engineering Strategies for Greenhouse Gas Mitigation by
Controlling the level of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is a rapidly growing area of commercial activity. While debate continues both about the impact of greenhouse gas on climate and the role humans play in influencing its concentration, engineers are faced with less controversial questions of how to manage this uncertainty and how to control greenhouse gases at a minimum cost to society. This book gives a concise review of current knowledge required for engineers to develop strategies to help us manage and adapt to climate change. It has been developed from the author's graduate course in environmental engineering, and is written without technical jargon so as to be accessible to a wide range of students and policymakers who do not necessarily have scientific or engineering backgrounds. Appendices allow readers to calculate for themselves the impact of the various strategies, and the book contains student exercises and references for further reading.
Call Number: On Display: 628.53 J774e
Publication Date: 2011-05-12
Engineering the Climate by
Engineering the Climate: The Ethics of Solar Radiation Management discusses the ethical issues associated with deliberately engineering a cooler climate to combat global warming. Climate engineering (also known as geoengineering) has recently experienced a surge of interest given the growing likelihood that the global community will fail to limit the temperature increases associated with greenhouse gases to safe levels. Deliberate manipulation of solar radiation to combat climate change is an exciting and hopeful technical prospect, promising great benefits to those who are in line to suffer most through climate change. At the same time, the prospect of geoengineering creates huge controversy. Taking intentional control of earth's climate would be an unprecedented step in environmental management, raising a number of difficult ethical questions. One particular form of geoengineering, solar radiation management (SRM), is known to be relatively cheap and capable of bringing down global temperatures very rapidly. However, the complexity of the climate system creates considerable uncertainty about the precise nature of SRM's effects in different regions. The ethical issues raised by the prospect of SRM are both complex and thorny. They include: 1) the uncertainty of SRM's effects on precipitation patterns, 2) the challenge of proper global participation in decision-making, 3) the legitimacy of intentionally manipulating the global climate system in the first place, 4) the potential to sidestep the issue of dealing with greenhouse gas emissions, and, 5) the lasting effects on future generations. It has been widely acknowledged that a sustained and scholarly treatment of the ethics of SRM is necessary before it will be possible to make fair and just decisions about whether (or how) to proceed. This book, including essays by 13 experts in the field of ethics of geoengineering, is intended to go some distance towards providing that treatment.
Publication Date: 2012-01-01
Hacking Planet Earth by
An exploration of the cutting-edge technology that will enable us to confront the realities of climate change. For decades scientists and environmentalists have sounded the alarm about the effects of global warming. We are now past the tipping point. As floods, storms, and extreme temperatures become our daily reality, "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" efforts aren't enough anymore. In Hacking Planet Earth, New York Times bestselling author Thomas Kostigen takes readers to the frontlines of geoengineering projects that scientists, entrepreneurs, engineers, and other visionaries around the world are developing to solve the problems associated with climate change. From giant parasols hovering above the Earth to shield us from an unforgiving sun, to lasers shooting up into clouds to coax out much-needed water, Kostigen introduces readers to this inspiring work and the people who are spearheading it. These futurist, far- thinking, world-changing ideas will save us, and Hacking Planet Earth offers readers their new vision for the future.
Call Number: On Display: 628 K867 h
Publication Date: 2020-03-24
How to Avoid a Climate Disaster by
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER * In this urgent, authoritative book, Bill Gates sets out a wide-ranging, practical--and accessible--plan for how the world can get to zero greenhouse gas emissions in time to avoid a climate catastrophe. Bill Gates has spent a decade investigating the causes and effects of climate change. With the help of experts in the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, political science, and finance, he has focused on what must be done in order to stop the planet's slide to certain environmental disaster. In this book, he not only explains why we need to work toward net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases, but also details what we need to do to achieve this profoundly important goal. He gives us a clear-eyed description of the challenges we face. Drawing on his understanding of innovation and what it takes to get new ideas into the market, he describes the areas in which technology is already helping to reduce emissions, where and how the current technology can be made to function more effectively, where breakthrough technologies are needed, and who is working on these essential innovations. Finally, he lays out a concrete, practical plan for achieving the goal of zero emissions--suggesting not only policies that governments should adopt, but what we as individuals can do to keep our government, our employers, and ourselves accountable in this crucial enterprise. As Bill Gates makes clear, achieving zero emissions will not be simple or easy to do, but if we follow the plan he sets out here, it is a goal firmly within our reach.
Publication Date: 2021-02-16
Theological and Ethical Perspectives on Climate Engineering by
The climate is changing as an unintended consequence of human industrialization and consumerism. Recently some scientists and engineers have suggested climate engineering--technological solutions that would intentionally change the climate to make it more hospitable. This approach focuses on large-scale technologies to alleviate the worst effects of anthropogenic climate change. This book considers the moral, philosophical, and religious questions raised by such proposals, bringing Christian theology and ethics into the conversation about climate engineering for the first time. The contributors have different views on whether climate engineering is morally acceptable and on what kinds of climate engineering are most promising and most dangerous, but all agree that religion has a vital role to play in the analysis and decisions called for on this vital issue. Calming the Storm presents diverse perspectives on some of the most vital questions raised by climate engineering: Who has the right to make decisions about such global technological efforts? What have we learned from the decisions that caused the climate to change that might shed light on efforts to reverse that change? What frameworks and metaphors are helpful in thinking about climate engineering, and which are counterproductive? What religious beliefs, practices, and rituals can help people to imagine and evaluate the prospect of engineering the climate?
Publication Date: 2016-09-09
History of Climate Action Day in the Exonian