Public Lecture, “Earthmasters: Playing God with the Climate”

Spraying sulphur compounds into the upper atmosphere to reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the planet? Transforming the chemistry of the world’s oceans so they soak up more carbon? These ideas sound like science fiction but technologies to ‘geoengineer’ the planet are being developed now. In this lecture Clive Hamilton will describe the technologies and their risks, and comment on the coalition of forces now backing climate engineering as a response to global warming. He argues that the momentum to embark on geoengineering will become irresistible as the planet warms because emission cuts will come too late.

Location: Lecture Theatre 4, Appleton Tower

Time: 1700 Thursday 19 September 2013

The event is free (request tickets via

About the speaker:

Clive Hamilton is Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, Charles Sturt University, in Canberra. He is currently an academic visitor at University College London and has previously held visiting positions at the University of Oxford and Yale University. He is a member of the Australian government’s Climate Change Authority. Clive Hamilton founded The Australia Institute, a progressive think tank, in 1993 and was Director until 2008. One of Australia’s leading thinkers, he has been writing about climate change for 15 years. He is bestselling author of books including Requiem for a Species: why we resist the truth about climate change (2010), in which he considers the psychological and cultural dimensions of climate change denial, and Scorcher: the dirty politics of climate change (2007) an investigation of the power of energy industry lobbyists on the Australia political process. In this lecture he will talk about his latest book, Earthmasters, published earlier this year by Yale University Press.