Earthmasters: playing God with the climate

Clive Hamilton, Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, Charles Sturt University

5 March

Spraying sulphur compounds into the upper atmosphere to reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the planet? Transforming the chemistry of the world’s oceans so they soak up more carbon? These ideas sound like science fiction but technologies to ‘geoengineer’ the planet are being developed right now. Clive Hamilton investigates the huge risks of reaching for desperate measures to save the planet, explains the science behind the ‘technofixes’ and uncovers the worrying motives of some of those promoting them. We can no longer ignore the push for geoengineering as a substitute for cutting carbon emissions. In a few years everyone will be talking about it, and every one of us will have to take a stance.

Clive Hamilton

Clive Hamilton is Vice-Chancellor’s Chair and Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, Charles Sturt University, in Canberra. He has been an Academic Visitor at the University of Oxford and at Yale University. He was recently appointed a member of the Climate Change Authority. He is a member of the Royal Society's Solar Radiation Management Governance Initiative.

Hamilton founded The Australia Institute, a progressive think tank, in 1993 and was Director until 2008. One of Australia’s leading thinkers on economics and public policy he has been writing about climate change for 15 years. He is bestselling author of books including Requiem for a Species: why we resist the truth about climate change (2010), in which he discusses the philosophical dimensions of climate change denial, and Scorcher: the dirty politics of climate change (2007) an investigation of the power of energy industry lobbyists on the Australia political process. His two books on the impact of rampant consumerism and overconsumption are Affluenza: when too much is never enough (with Richard Denniss 2005) and Growth Fetish (2003).

Gleebooks will have copies of Hamilton's book Earthmaster: playing God with the climate (RRP$24.99) on sale at the venue.