Monday, October 28, 2019 - 9:30am to 10:30am
Science-based policies have succeeded in moderating many of the hazards humans have inflicted on themselves, from the ozone hole to leaded gasoline. And David Keith is optimistic that science can play that role again on the climate front. He heads a research group working on a controversial technology: solar geoengineering, or blocking or reflecting some of the sun's radiation to slow warming. Public discussion of this once-taboo topic is now heating up. Keith will share an update on the research and his thoughts about the role of journalism in shaping the discussion. Although he's concerned about the ways that opponents of greenhouse-gas emissions cuts exploit his work, he insists that scientists must talk openly about geoengineering if there is a possibility that science could reduce climate risks. He notes the Einstein quotation engraved on the memorial outside Washington's historic National Academy of Sciences building: "The right to search for truth implies also a duty; one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true."
Sun over Earth's horizon from the ISS. Image: NASA.