We can control climate, but should we? The ethics of geoengineering | David Schurman | TEDxBrownU


As a response to unsatisfactory carbon emissions reductions, David discusses geo-engineering: the act of intentionally adjusting Earth’s climate to counteract the effects of global warming. More specifically, the talk focuses on Marine Cloud Brightening, an idea that explores the possibility of “brightening” clouds over the ocean to make them reflect more sunlight away from the Earth. David then encourages the audience to consider the implications of such a drastic and far-reaching solution to global warming, and whether we, as humans, have the right to intentionally perturb our Earth’s natural climate systems. After taking interest in the problem of global warming, David Schurman began working at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado. Under the supervision of acclaimed cloud physicist Dr. John Latham, David studied the impacts of geo-engineered cloud cover on ocean phytoplankton populations. Now, David is a first-year undergraduate student at Brown who has no idea what he wants to do with his life. David’s interests include engineering, mathematics, computer science, climate science, studio art, and existentialist philosophy, and he is trying to decide how best to combine all of these into a single degree program. David can most often be found in the Brown Design Workshop, pondering the intricacies of human existence while using a wood chisel to carve mortise-and-tenon joints. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx