The University of Arizona

New SWCCN Book Club: Join the Discussion!

January 13, 2012
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Are you trying to decide which book to read next? Struggling to choose timely and relevant climate-related books out of the hundreds out there? Aching to learn about what’s under the hood of climate science, or to get inside the heads of those working to figure out how climate varies, changes and interacts with natural and human systems? Wondering about the choices we might have to solve climate-related problems? Searching for people to discuss that book with once you’re done reading?

You’re in luck: the Southwest Climate Change Network is starting a new climate book club! Here’s how it will work:

Once every month or so we will choose (with your help, once we get going) and announce a new climate book that we will be reading. We’ll provide a brief introduction to the book in a blog post such as this one, as well as a few discussion questions to guide the reading. About a month later, one or more climate scientists, authors, or other scholars will begin the discussion with another blog post. You can then follow and join the discussion through the comments at the bottom of the blog (remember, you have to log in to see and post comments). In addition, we plan to host in-person discussions for some of the books as logistics permit.

Look for the book club announcement on our SWCCN website any time you want to quickly find out which book we’re currently reading, where you can order it, when the discussion will begin (your “due date”), and who will be leading.

Our first selection is Hack the Planet: Science’s Best Hope – or Worst Nightmare – for Averting Climate Catastrophe by Eli Kintisch (Wiley, 2010). I will begin the discussion with a blog post on about February 15 (below are some discussion questions to help guide your reading). This book focuses on the pros, cons, and controversies of geoengineering—very timely considering the many geoengineering ideas that are floating around out there! But I like this book because it also gets into some of the tough ethics of climate change and how scientists and engineers work to figure out the pros and cons of possible solutions when there is no clear no-regrets winner. This book is nice because it helps us learn about the climate challenge (especially abrupt climate change) and why more and more scientists are grudgingly taking geoengineering seriously, while at the same time fearing the possible consequences of geoengineering. The book will make us all think, and talk as well!

Some starter discussion questions to muse on while reading the book:

What are the different types of geoengineering, and how do they work?

Why are more and more climate scientists starting to take geoengineering seriously?

When, where and what kind of geoengineering is most likely to see deployment?

What are the potential downsides of geoengineering options? Are disasters possible? Why are many scientists so worried about the use of geoengineering?

What are the ethical dimensions of geoengineering?

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very cool idea

very cool idea

Sounds like a good choice,

Sounds like a good choice, Dr. Overpeck. I look forward to reading the book and joining the online conversation.

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