David Keith

  • Aired:  12/09/13
  •  | Views: 22,949

"A Case For Climate Engineering" author David Keith explains his proposal to use geoengineering as a means of slowing climate change. (6:25)

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)>> Stephen: WELCOME TO THE

REPORT, EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS-- THATIS HOW YOU END UP WITH A

SHARK IN ADDITIONO.

DR. KEITH WHAT YOU HAVE GOT.

>> I'M GOOD WITH MR. .

>> Stephen: MR. KEITH, OKAY,ALL RIGHT.

YOU'VE GOT A LITTLE BOOKHERE CALLED A CASE FOR

CLIMATE ENGINEERING.

HOW WILL WE SAVE THE PLANET.

BECAUSE ALL THE PEOPLE, ALLTHE CHICKEN LITTLES OUT

THERE ARE SAYING THE PLANETIS WARMING UP.

YOU DON'T BELIEVE THAT DOW.

>> I TOTALLY BELIEVE IT.

IT IS WARMING UP AND I HAVEBEEN THINKING ABOUT IT ALONG

WITHER O PEOPLE WAYS TO STOPIT.

>> Stephen: OKAY, DOESINVOLVE ME USING ONE OF

THOSE LITTLE PIG TAILLIGHTBULBS?

>> THAT IS A USEFUL THING TODO.

AND I HAVE THOSE IN MYHOUSE.

AND I'M THINKING ABOUTSOMETHING ELSE.

>> Stephen: OKAY, GOOD WHATIS THE OTHER THING BECAUSE I

WOULD LIKE TO DO ANYTHINGOTHER THAN THAT.

>> EXACTLY.

>> Stephen: SO WHAT DO WEDO?

>> THE OTHER THING ISHORRIFYING.

YOU COULD ACTUALLY SPRAYSULFURIC ACID IN THE

ATMOSPHERE 20 KILOMETERSOVER OUR HEAD AND USE THAT

TO STOP THE PLANET WARMINGUP.

>> Stephen: YOU CAN SPRAYSOMETHING INTO THE

ATMOSPHERE TO CHANGE-- OKAY.

>> SPRAY POLLUTION INTO THEATMOSPHERE TO STOP IT

WARMING.

>> Stephen: SO IN THE ENDPOLLUTION SAVES THEM ALL.

WE OWE POLLUTION, WE OWEACID RAIN AN APOLOGY IS WHAT

ARE YOU SAYING.

>> IT WOULD BE A TOTALLYIMPERFECT TECHNICAL FIX T

WOULD HAVE RISKS T WOULDN'TGET US OUT OF THE LONG RUN

NEED TO STOP POLLUTING BUTIT MIGHT ACTUALLY SAVE

PEOPLE AND BE USEFUL.

>> Stephen: OKAY, AGAIN, IINTERRUPTED YOU SLIGHTLY

THERE.

HOW DOES IT WORK, YOU HOWMANY PLANES ARE WE TALKING

ABOUT HERE, HOW DO YOU DOTHIS.

>> LET'S SAY YOU WANTED TOSTOP IT WARMING IN 2020.

YOU START WITH A FLEET OFJUST 2 OR 3 KIND OF MODIFIED

BUSINESS JETS.

>> Stephen: LIKE A G-6.

>> THAT'S IT.

>> Stephen: LIKE A G6.

>> AND YOU PUT SAY 20,000TONS OF SULFURIC ACID NOT

STRATOSPHERE EVERY YEAR ANDEACH YEAR YOU HAVE TO PUT A

LITTLE MORE AND IN THE LONGRUN THIS DOESN'T MEAN THAT

YOU CAN FORGET ABOUT CUTTINGEMISSIONS.

WE WILL NEED TO REIGN IT.

>> Stephen: NO, WE'LL GET TOIT EVENTUALLY.

IN THE MEANTIME WE'RE SHROUDINGTHE EARTH IN SULFURIC ACID.

>> SO PEOPLE ARE TERRIFIEDABOUT TALKING ABOUT THIS

BECAUSE THEY'RE SKAERED THATIT WILL PREVENT US CUTTING

EMISSIONS.

>> Stephen: RIGHT, AND ALSOTHAT IT IS SULFURIC ACID.

>> IT IS.

>> Stephen: IS THERE ANYPOSSIBLE WAY THIS COULD COME

BACK TO BITE US IN THE ASS?

PLAN CONNECT THE EARTH INNSULFURIC ACID BECAUSE I'M

ALL FOR IT.

THIS IS THE ALL CHOCOLATEDINNER.

I STILL GET TO HAVE THE CO2AND I JUST HAVE TO SPRAY

SULFURIC ACID, RIGHT.

ALL OVER THE EARTH.

>> RIGHT QUESTION BUT WE PUT50 MILLION TONS OF SULFURIC

ACID.

THERE ARE A MILLION PEOPLE AYEAR WORLDWIDE, IT KILLS.

>> Stephen: THAT'S TERRIBLE.

>> BUT IT WILL BE BETTER IFWE PUT MORE IN.

>> WE'RE TALKING ABOUT 1% OFTHAT.

A TINY FRACTION OF THAT.

>> WE SHOULD REDUCE IT.

>> ONLY 1% MORE WE'RE JUSTKILLING 10,000 MORE PEOPLE.

>> Stephen: YOU CAN DO MATH,OKAY.

>> BUT THAT'S-- SO KILLINGPEOPLE IS NOT THE OBJECTIVE

HERE.

>> Stephen: KILLING PEOPLEIS NOT THE OBJECTIVE.

I JUST WANTED TO BE CLEAR.

>> ACTUALLY, SLOWING CLIMATECHANGE, ACTUALLY STOPPING

CLIMATE CHANGE IN A WAY THATCOULD HELP PEOPLE THIS

GENERATION, PEOPLE LIVINGNOW, IN A WAY THERE'S NO

OTHER EASY ALTERNATIVE.

>> Stephen: CAN YOU JUST DOIT FOR PART OF THE PLANET.

>> PRETTY OF THE WHOLEPLANET.

>> Stephen: COULD YOU, JUSTSAY LIKE MAKE THINGS BETTER

FOR THE UNITED STATES?

>> VERY HARD TO DO.

IT SEEMS THAT THIS IS-- BUTTHE BIG FEAR IS THAT ONE

COUNTRY WILL WANT IT ONE WAYAND ONE THE OTHER, LIKE TWO

FRAT BOYS ARGUE OVER THETHERMOSTAT AND IN MANY WAYS

THE BIGGEST FEAR HERE, WEHAVE NO IDEA HOW TO ACTUALLY

AGREE ABOUT HOW TO CONTROLTHE PLANET'S THERMOSTAT.

>> Stephen: LET'S SAY THEUNITED STATES AND CHINA SAY

YEAH, LET'S DO IT BUT RUSSIAAND INDIA SAY YEAH, NOT DO

IT.

>> THIS IS THE KIND OF STUFFI WAKE UP SWEATING ABOUT.

>> Stephen: EXACTLY.

>> Stephen: IT'S YOURGODDAMN IDEA.

>> IT ACTUALLY TURNS OUT TOBE AN OLD IDEA.

>> A SIGN OF THE COMMUNITYMOSTLY DECIDED NOT TO TALK

ABOUT IT FOR FEAR PEOPLEWOULD LOSE THE THREAT OF

CUTTING EMISSIONS.

>> WHAT WHAT HAPPEN TO ITSSULFURIC ACID AFTER IT IS

SPRAYED.

DOES IT JUST STAY UP THERE.

>> NO, IT RAINS DOWN BUT ASI SAID, IT RAINS DOWN.

IT'S A TINY EDITION OF WHATWE'RE ALREADY DOING.

>> HAVE YOU GOTTEN SOMEGRIEF FOR SUGGESTIONING

THIS?

>> SURE THIS IS LIKE WRITINGA BOOK ABOUT THE CASE FOR

LEPROSY.

>> Stephen: DOW HAVE ONE.

>> YEAH, IT'S A GREAT WEIGHTLOSS PLAN.

BUT ALSO MANY PEOPLE AREHAPPY THAT PEOPLE ARE

FINALLY TALKING ABOUT THISBECAUSE WHILE IT IS UGLY T

DOES APPEAR THAT IT REALLYCOULD DO SOME GOOD.

>> Stephen: COULD ANINDIVIDUAL START THIS?

>> IN PRACTICE ONLY ACOUNTRY.

>> Stephen: WHAT ABOUT A MANIN LIKE A HOLLOWED OUT

VOLCANO WITH HENCHMEN WHOOCCASIONALLY SHAKE THEIR

FIST AT THE SKY AND SAYSTHEY SAID I WAS A FOOL AT

HARVARD.

WHO'S THE FOOL NOW!

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)>> IT'S A NATURAL WORRY BUT

I THINK IN THE END, NO.

THIS WOULD BE DONE BY MAJORCOUNTRIES BUT THE PROBLEM IS

HOW COUNTRIES AGREE ABOUTWHERE TO SET THE THERMOSTAT.

WHO DECIDES.

AND MY BIGGEST REASON FORWRITING THE BOCK AND FOR

TALKING ABOUT IT IS MY VIEWTHAT WE WON'T MAKE GOOD

DECISIONS IN IGNORANCE.

>> Stephen: WE HAVE TO HAVETHE DISCUSSION NOW SO WHEN

IT BECOMES OUR LAST HOPE,PEOPLE CAN SAY HEY, WE

TALKED ABOUT THIS, REMEMBER.

WE SAID WE GET TO DO IT.

>> ED WORST WAY TO MAKEDECISIONS ABOUT THIS WOULD

BE IF WE ALL AGREE THAT WEWON'T TALK ABOUT IT IN

POLITE SOCIETY, SUPPRESS ITWHICH IS WHAT HAS BEEN

HAPPENING.

AND THEN IN 2030 SUDDENLYTHE CRISIS WE MAKE FAST

DECISIONS.

>> Stephen: MAYBE IT'SHAPPENING ALREADY.

DOW EVER LOOK AT THOSEPLANES UP THERE, THEY HAVE

CONTRAILS BEHIND THEM.

MAYBE ALL THOSE PLANES WITHTHE CRON TRAILS ARE SPRAYING

CHEMICAL APPROXIMATES INTOTHE ATMOSPHERE RIGHT NOW AND

UNCLE SAM SAM ISN'T TELLINGUS.

>> SEEMS EXTREMELY UNLIKELY.

>> Stephen: THE FACT THATTHE UNITED STATES ISN'T

TELLING SOMETHING TO ITSCITIZENS SEEMS EXTREMLY

UNLIKELY.

I THINK THEY MIGHT HAVE YOURIDEA ALREADY.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

DAVID KEITH, A CASE FORCLIMATE ENGINEERING.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.