In this episode of Bulletproof Radio, I talk with Thomas Kostigen about how there’s no returning to nature as we knew it. His current work focuses on climate disaster and emergency preparedness. And to write his newest book, “Hacking Planet Earth: How Geoengineering Can Help Us Reimagine the Future”, Thomas went to the frontlines of geoengineering projects that scientists, entrepreneurs, engineers, and other visionaries around the world are developing to solve the problems associated with global warming.
“My book is based in rigorous science and all the methodologies that are in it are backed by serious scientists who have certain solutions,” Thomas said. “Geoengineering is controversial by its very nature, by certain segments, not only of the environmental movement but others.”
A New York Times bestselling author, award-winning National Geographic writer, activist and journalist, Thomas has reported from war zones to the world’s wonders across five continents. He’s now looking at what space and the future may hold. A space umbrella? Laser lightning rod? Lotus tower? Ice Stupa? Ever heard of these? Well, they might be the next tools and technologies we use to fix our planet.
“We have to shift the conversation from what’s far out there to what’s reasonable, and what can we do in the here and the now,” he says. “We have to deal with what’s in front of us today, but we also have to look at it as a learning mechanism for tomorrow.”
In “Hacking Planet Earth,” Thomas examines the furthest out-there and most forward-thinking fixes for our climate that go beyond carbon emission and waste mitigation.
“Fate cannot be left to chance any longer,” he says. …” It is time to turn our collective attention toward supporting industry and encouraging the business community, scientists and technologists—innovators!—to step up and do what they do best: invent, pioneer, disrupt the same old ways of doing things.”
Our discussion dives into geoengineering and other technologies that could protect our planet. Thomas also talks about the importance of using today’s virtual modeling technology to inform those solutions, and their consequences. These futurist, world-changing ideas will save us, he says. On today’s show, we’ll learn why he thinks so.
“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” efforts aren’t enough anymore,” Thomas says. “These individual efforts are a necessary part of the fight against climate change, but it’s time to think bigger—much bigger.”
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Follow Along with the Transcript
Book: “Hacking Planet Earth: How Geoengineering Can Help Us Reimagine the Future”
- Our environment, the state of the planet right now, How bad is it? – 1:41
- The space umbrella, I get right up front in the book, because I wanted to show people what the farthest out type of thinking is – 3:41
- I think there’s some things that we could do here on planet earth first, before we start getting into outer space as a kind of a last resort, in my mind. – 5:51
- We have to shift the conversation from what’s far out there to what’s reasonable, and what can we do in the here and the now. – 8:59
- Stratospheric Aerosol Injection is probably the most radical form of geoengineering that’s here today 9:37
- Ocean engineering, ocean fertilization, in order to reinvigorate the dying seas that we’re seeing today – 10:36
- There is no return to nature. The days of Little House on the Prairie are done. – 11:31
- Take us 100 years from now, what would the planet look like if we enacted the things that you’ve discovered in your book? – 14:08
- The private sector has to have an incentive for us to do the right thing, and that will give us more an incentive to do the right thing in order for the world to get to a better place. – 17:43
- We have to deal with what’s in front of us today, but we also have to look at it as a learning mechanism for tomorrow. – 24:35
- How long does it take to make a difference in the environment, even if we were to deploy some of the big solutions you’re proposing right now? – 25:47
- We are thinking about emissions, but we’re not thinking so much about the front end manufacturing of things. And that’s the irony here. And so we have to start to flip that equation. – 29:18
- Government needs to get out of the way in a way here. And we’ll be able to have people with the right ideas, and the right incentives come in and say, well, let’s recycle that. Let’s do things a different way. Let’s try and, mitigate that risk that we now are aware of. – 32:21
- We’re in for a challenge, and I think we’re in for a fight. I am hopeful, given the things that I’ve been exposed to – 36:19
- I think we need to do a lot more work in both biomimicry and the results of technology to understand what the effect is on the planet, and on the biomass system itself.41:27
- As a part of hacking the planet, are we going to increase overall fairness to humans to equal access to resources and things like that? Or is this a human nature problem? – 42:49
- On a degree from, say, one being not screwed at all, and 100 being completely screwed, no matter what we do. Where are we? – 45:00
- My favorite is the ice stupas,it’s just a really cool thing based on a pipe that a guy stuck into the ground and said, oh, look, what we could do here. Really smart.- 47:44
- One of my favorite technologies in the book, so I’m glad we get to talk a little bit about that is zero mass water, creating water from air. – 50:50
- What are the top three things that you’d recommend people do right now in order to make the world or the environment a much better place, 30 years from now? – 53:13
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