Masters of the Anthropocene Boundary

It’s our 50th episode!  To celebrate we sit down with four members of the Anthropocene Working Group: the scientists and experts who are deciding whether or not we formally adopt the Anthropocene into the geologic time table.  We discuss what makes the Anthropocene boundary different from all of the other boundaries in geologic history, how they deal with the increased public attention to this particular boundary, and some cultural ripple effects of the Anthropocene dealing with the Law of the Sea.  As we wrap up, the Generation Anthropocene producers take a minute to reflect on all of the rapid changes we’ve witnessed over the past 50 episodes.

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Port response to sea level rise

Ship’s captain turned researcher, Austin Becker, looks to the future for how ports will respond to sea level rise. He explains the importance of ports for world trade, the time horizons for port planning, and the plans to brace for rising seas (or lack thereof).

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Wrapping our heads around geoengineering

Drift into the stratosphere as environmental engineer Granger Morgan explains how to use aerosols to control climate change and why he calls this a bit of a Faustian bargain.  He also discusses what position the States would have to find itself in to actually do this as he builds to the terrifying realization that an individual (or a nation for that matter) with a few billion dollars could make the unilateral decision to go ahead and change the climate.

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Earth’s Tipping Points & Abrupt Climate Change

Climate researcher and host of PBS’s Earth: The Operators’ Manual Richard Alley discusses abrupt climate variations in Earth’s history and what he defines as climate tipping points – leading to a discussion on whether or not Earth’s climate systems has dials, or switches.  He also addresses the socio-economic costs of climate change and why he’s optimistic about our energy future, with links to salted cod in the 1700s.  Alley also reflects on the role of scientists as advocates with some interesting implications for Albert Einstein and Charles Darwin.

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