8 mins

‘Geostorm’ movie shows dangers of hacking the climate – we need to talk about real-world geoengineering now

Jane A. Flegal, University of California, Berkeley and Andrew Maynard, Arizona State University Hollywood’s latest disaster flick, “Geostorm,” is premised on the idea that humans have figured out how to control the Earth’s climate. A powerful satellite-based technology allows users to fine-tune the weather, overcoming the ravages of climate change. Everyone, everywhere can quite literally ...

At the frontiers of the science of health risk – five areas to watch

Cross-posted from Risk Sense This week’s Risk Bites video takes a roller-coaster ride through some of the hottest topics in risk science. Admittedly this is a somewhat personal list, and rather constrained by being compressed into a two and a half minute video for a broad audience. But it does touch on some of the ...

A bluffer’s guide to Risk Science in the 21st century

A few weeks ago, I gave a talk at the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati under the slightly provocative title “Small Gods and the Art of Technology Innovation”.  The talk is now available on-line (slides and audio at least) – and viewable below – through the excellent work of the folk at CAC. Rather sneakily, ...

5 mins

Could precisely engineered nanoparticles provide a novel geoengineering tool?

This is an extremely quick and dirty blog post, as I really need to be somewhere else.  But while traveling to the World Economic Forum meeting in China today, I came across a new paper that piques my interest. The paper is by David Keith at the University of Calgary (published in the Proceedings of ...

2 mins

Geoengineering options: Balancing effectiveness and safety

An interesting aspect of today’s Royal Society report on geoengineering is the attempt to rate twelve potential approaches to engineering the climate by effectiveness, affordability, timeliness and safety – and to graphically compare the approaches in terms of these criteria. While the ratings and the resulting diagram are somewhat subjective (the report’s authors call them ...

Engaging the public on nanotechnology

Following up on my last post – Geoengineering the planet with nanotechnology ice-cream? – here’s a short video Zoe Papadopoulou and colleagues put together on The Cloud Project from my visit in June: [flashvideo file=/movies/20090707/ice_cream.flv image=movies/20090707/ice_cream.jpg width=580 height=366 /] Although this was filmed before the finishing touches had been applied to the ice cream van, ...

Geoengineering the planet with nanotechnology ice-cream?

Scientists and engineers have their moments. But it they are hard pressed to beat art students when it comes to sheer audacious creativity. Earlier this year I received an email so intriguing I couldn’t help but follow up on it. The email was from Zoe Papadopoulou, an MA student at the Royal College of Art ...

4 mins

Geoengineering: Are we grown up enough to handle it?

If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to unite global warming “denialists” on both sides of the aisle, it’s geoengineering – the intentional planet-wide manipulation of the environment.  At least, you might be left with that impression after reading the comments following a thoughtful piece in Monday’s Wall Street Journal by Jamais Cascio. Cascio describes himself ...

4 mins

Steve Chu’s White Revolution

It feels good to be ahead of the curve sometimes. About this time last year, I was slaving away painting my roof white – much to the bemusement of my Northern Virginia neighbors and friends. So I couldn’t help feeling just a little smug this morning as I read that US Secretary of Energy Steve ...

Older posts