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Geoengineering: Global Salvation or Ruin?

On February 23, 2010 the Commonwealth Club of California hosted a panel of Ken Caldeira, Greg Dalton, Albert Lin and David Whelan to discuss geoengineering. What is technically feasible? How could new tactics be tested? Does the mere possibility of geoengineering diminish efforts to reduce carbon pollution? Our speakers share their distinct perspectives on this passionate environmental topic.


Ken Caldeira - Ken Caldeira is an atmospheric scientist who works at the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Department of Global Ecology. He researches ocean acidification, climate effects of trees, intentional climate modification, and interactions in the global carbon/climate system. He also works as a staff scientist for Intellectual Ventures, a Seattle-based invention and patent company headed up by Nathan Myhrvold. Caldeira’s work was featured in a November 2006 article in The New Yorker, entitled “The Darkening Sea.” In 2007, he contributed two op-ed pieces on the subject of global warming to The New York Times. He was named a “Hero Scientist of 2008” by New Scientist magazine.

Greg Dalton - Gregory Dalton is chief operating officer at the Commonwealth Club of California and Director of The Club’s Climate 1 Initiative. He previously was international editor at The Industry Standard magazine, an editor for the Associated Press in New York, and a correspondent in China and Canada for the South China Morning Post, a Hong Kong newspaper. Proficient in both Mandarin and Cantonese, he is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Albert Lin - Albert Lin is Professor of Law at UC Davis School of Law. His special interests include environmental law, natural resources, and evidence.

David Whelan - Dr. David Whelan is the Boeing Integrated Defense Systems Chief Scientist and Vice President—General Manager, Deputy to the President of IDS Advanced Systems. Whelan has responsibility to create, seek out and explore new technology and business growth vectors for the Boeing Company. Boeing’s technology and systems span a wide range of government missions ranging from space systems to airborne systems to ground systems to undersea system. Both manned and unmanned systems have been developed to solve Boeing’s customer challenges. Leveraging his in-depth knowledge of science, technology, systems and future customer requirements Whelan enables Boeing to find new solutions to world’s most challenging problems.

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