This Thursday, PUEA will be hosting Mr. Michael MacCracken '64 for dinner (Olives)!
Alum Mike MacCracken will reflect on how times have changed from the can-do optimism of the 1950s and 1960s, when geoengineering was viewed by some as a necessary step to gain access to supposedly needed energy and mineral resources in the Arctic, to the present, when geoengineering seems very likely to be needed to offset emerging “dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” With both temperature and sea level rising, reductions in emissions can slow the rates of rise, but only geoengineering, including both carbon dioxide removal and intervention to alter the global energy balance, provides the means to potentially direct global conditions back toward the climatic conditions of the mid-20th century.
Olives catering will be served!
After graduating from Princeton with a B.S.E. from the Department (then) of Aerospace and Mechanical Sciences, Dr. MacCracken earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Applied Science of the University of California Davis. His dissertation involved the construction of one of the first global climate models and then use of it to analyze the plausibility of a number of hypotheses then current for explaining glacial-interglacial cycling. From 1968 to 2002 he was a physicist with what is now the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), leading studies considering natural and human-induced causes of climate change. From 1993-2002 he was on assignment in Washington DC in leading roles with the interagency Office of the U.S. Global Change Research Program. Since retiring from LLNL in 2002, Mike has, among other mainly voluntary activities, been serving as Chief Scientist for Climate Change Programs with the Climate Institute in Washington DC; served as president of the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences; and, in addition to scientific papers, authored roughly a dozen legal declarations explaining climate change science and its relevance to society, including one cited favorably by Supreme Court Justice Stevens in the 2007 landmark decision in Massachusetts et al. versus EPA.