Beyond Adaptation and Resiliency: GeoEngineering and Why We Will Need It

“Combating climate change is the race of our lifetime.”
            Wagner & Weitzman, Climate Shock.

On October 7, 2018, the New York Times published an article on the findings of the most recent report from the International Panel of Climate Change (IPCC2018). The report presents some alarming conclusions (related to previous projections) as to how rapidly the earth is warming and that the impacts and costs will be more severe than predicted.  We have until 2030 to take the required steps to prevent a trajectory that will take us towards the tipping point where feedback loops will make catastrophic climate change irreversible.

There is now an urgent need for a collectivized effort to innovate and test discoveries in the scientific field of geoengineering (GE) that will safeguard the planet during the time needed for the globe to transition to a 0-carbon economy. There are many diverse scientific activities exploring these technologies proceeding all over the world which are funded by academies, governments and the private sector.  But, there are no organizations or federal governments that have stepped up to organize, fund, guide or provide the needed platform that could oversee a concerted effort to coordinate the different GE possibilities. This area remains underfunded, untested, deeply distrusted, yet offers the best hope for saving the planet and humanity.

Those of us who are educated non-specialists, involved with the critical issue of climate change, are already engaged with adaptation and resiliency as a response to global impacts of climate change. But, given the urgency of where we are, we must reach beyond our professional limits; shift to a larger scale of thought and understanding of earthsystems. Through educating plus organizing ourselves we can learn how to tackle the source of the problem.

The climate crisis offers opportunities to contribute as: designers of the built environment; creators of business models for innovative new technologies emerging as part of a future low carbon economy; or creators of significant new policy at all levels. It offers the opportunity for a generational collaboration between a wide range of sectors and actors.

The seminar’s goals will be:
1. Learn about two essential GE technological developments and devise a strategy to support, in any way, our national and international scientists to reach a viable solution for Solar Radiation Management (SRM), which will cool the atmosphere to buy us time to develop and scale up the second necessary GE technology, Direct Air Capture of CO2 (DAC) ,which will directly address the cause of rapid climate change.
2. To formulate an organization, in the private sector, that would coordinate efforts to organize SRM and DAC, for concerted and integrated research, development, and implementation of these two different but interrelated forms of geoengineering which, when deployed  together, can buy us the time needed to stabilize global warming and address the causes of climate change.

This course will be taught through guest lecturers and discussions of selected readings from texts and selected essays plus original research gathering. The seminar findings will be presented in a visual language to develop skills in data visualization. Through the exploration of data visualization: patterns, trends, correlations and missing links that might go undetected in text-based data can be exposed and recognized easier – leading us to ask the right questions.