Eli Kintisch, author of Hack the Planet, joins us to discuss some of the ambitious and risky geoengineering schemes that are being proposed to address climate change. Dave and John talk terraforming.
0:00 Introduction by Tor.com
0:38 Dave and John introduce the show
Interview: Eli Kintisch
02:00 Interview begins
02:11 How Eli got interested in science and became a science writer
02:51 Eli’s favorite science fiction authors and “climate porn”
03:30 Worst-case scenarios: methane, mega-droughts, and the death of the rainforests
05:27 Regarding geoengineering, and how the book came to be
06:17 Proposed methods of geoengineering
08:00 Small-scale environmental engineering and how it’s gone wrong
11:38 The history of geohacking; turns out it goes back a long way
13:32 Countries with competing interests in where to set the thermostat
14:51 Eli’s opinions of other books in the field
15:46 Regarding Michael Crichton’s State of Fear and Carl Sagan’s treatment of other planets
17:01 Eli’s take on terraforming: the ultimate hubris
18:12 How immersion in the subject has impacted Eli personally
19:12 The conspiracy theorists
20:18 Geoengineering vs. cutting carbon
21:53 Is there climate-related speculation happening now?
22:41 Coastal cities and adaptation to climate change
23:13 Waterworld and what generations down the line might be dealing with
24:02 What about super-cooling the planet? The problem of thermal inertia
25:58 What can we do as individuals?
26:41 Eli would love to hear from listeners at http://hacktheplanetbook.com
26:57 End of interview
Dave and John talk about geoengineering and terraforming
27:08 Geoengineering and the Gulf oil spill
28:45 People’s natural revulsion toward geoengineering
29:56 Lex Luthor’s misguided effort at geoenginering to increase property values
31:28 The Day After Tomorrow, and scientists as heroes
36:25 The difficulty that SF faces today, and the optimistic futures of the Shine anthology, edited by Jetse de Vries
38:51 The importance of the cautionary tale: Soylent Green; Anathem
40:57 Glaciers, sea levels, ice, and fresh water: Ice Pirates; The Millenial Project
43:34 Terraforming 101: AIR.
45:08 Regarding Mars: Total Recall; the Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson
46:25 Example of terraforming in Star Trek: the Genesis Torpedo in Star Trek II; ST:TNG
47:32 More about Mars: Red Planet and Mission to Mars
49:47 When terraforming becomes routine: Isle of the Dead by Roger Zelazny; Slartibartfast’s award-winning fjords
51:34 Zelazny’s “The Keys to December” and the unforeseen consequences of geoengineering
53:02 Altering humanity to suit the environment: Frederik Pohl’s Man Plus; “People of Sand and Slag” by Paolo Bacigalupi
53:54 The origin of the term “terraforming”
54:17 Gene Wolf’s Book of the New Sun
55:07 Stuck in the Solar system: terraforming what we’ve got, and the example of Firefly
56:49 Mike Resnick’s Kirinyaga
57:43 The ethics of terraforming
59:45 Show wrap-up
Next week: Nnedi Okorafor, author of Who Fears Death
Thanks for listening!
John Joseph Adams (www.johnjosephadams.com) is an anthologist, a writer, and a geek. He is the editor of the anthologies By Blood We Live, Federations, The Improbable Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Living Dead (a World Fantasy Award finalist), Seeds of Change, and Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse. He is currently assembling several other anthologies, including Brave New Worlds, The Living Dead 2, The Mad Scientistís Guide to World Domination, and The Way of the Wizard. He worked for more than eight years as an editor at The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, and is currently the fiction editor of Lightspeed Magazine, which launches in June 2010.
David Barr Kirtley (www.davidbarrkirtley.com) is a writer living in New York who has been called “one of the newest and freshest voices in sf.” His short fiction appears in magazines such as Realms of Fantasy and Weird Tales, and in anthologies such as The Living Dead, New Voices in Science Fiction, and Fantasy: The Best of the Year, 2008 Edition.