February 13, 2017 9:00 pm

Tuesday, Seth Shostak and Eugene Mirman Get Real About Climate Change

On this week’s episode of StarTalk All-Stars, veteran host Seth Shostak and co-host Eugene Mirman invite guest Ken Caldeira, climate scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science, for a serious discussion about climate change.

One of my favorite Carl Sagan quotes is, “It’s far better to grasp the universe how it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.”

That’s what this week’s episode is all about, getting down to the truth of climate change: what’s happening, how it’s happening, and what we can do about it.

Photo of the rift in the Larsen C ice shelf, credit: NASA/John Sonntag.

The rift in the Larsen C ice shelf in the Antarctic Peninsula. Credit: NASA/John Sonntag, via http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov

With Ken in the house, strap in for sharp discussion on all aspects of climate change. Hear how the U.S. has played a big leadership role in the development of climate-friendly infrastructure around the world, at least until now. Explore the consequences of rising sea levels for the near term and far in the future. You’ll also discover how the future of climate science lies not in studying the problem of climate change, but in the experimentation and discovery of solutions to fix it.

However, this being StarTalk, it’s not all science and no fun. Eugene offers ideas on different ways to use coal, oil and gas, for example… a hand cream, and that he’s rather ok with Florida might succumbing to the rising sea levels of the future.

Ken reveals how many trees it would take to reverse the damage already done by the destruction of the rain forests. (Hint…it’s quite a lot.)

Learn what the key is to making clean energy options more popular than coal or gas. Get the details on how the acidity of the oceans are effecting coral reef systems. You’ll also hear why carbon capture and storage – the idea of grabbing CO2 out of smoke stacks and stuffing it underground in geological reservoirs – is one of the most promising plans for slowing the rate of climate change.

I especially like when we find out what might happen when things really get bad! It involves recreating an atmosphere similar to when the dinosaurs roamed the Earth….and we’re talking about Earth’s real atmosphere, not a Jurassic Park-type “thrill-ride” atmosphere.

All this, plus, our panel answers fan-submitted Cosmic Queries on climate change including “What are some of the most effective methods to remove CO2 from the atmosphere” and “What’s the most exciting frontier in science today?”

If you want to get real about climate change, then please join us tomorrow night for Get Real About Climate Change, with Seth Shostak at 7pm EST right here on our website, as well as our new All-Stars channels on iTunes Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and TuneIn. And if you’re an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free at 7pm, too.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
– Ian Mullen