Earth in Human Hands: A Cosmic View of our Planet’s Past, Present and Future
What are we doing here on this planet? Can a deep-time and deep-space viewpoint help us gain the perspective to create a sustainable civilization? Informed by comparative planetology and a survey of the major transitions in Earth history, David Grinspoon will describe a taxonomy of planetary catastrophes meant to illuminate the unusual nature of the “Anthropocene,” our current time of human-driven planetary changes, and reframe our environmental predicaments as part of a larger narrative of planetary evolution. This saga has now reached the pivotal moment when humans have become a major agent of global change, and geological and human history are becoming irreversibly conjoined. Is this a likely or even inevitable challenge facing other complex life in the universe? Possible implications for SETI (the search for extraterrestrial intelligence) will be considered, as well as the choices our civilization faces in seeking to foster a wisely managed Earth.
Dr. David Grinspoon is an astrobiologist, award-winning science communicator, and prize-winning author, as well as a frequent advisor to NASA on space exploration strategy. In 2013 he was appointed as the inaugural Chair of Astrobiology at the U.S. Library of Congress where he studied the human impact on Earth and organized a public symposium on the Longevity of Human Civilization. Grinspoon's writing has appeared in the New York Times, Slate, Scientific American, Boston Globe, and the Los Angeles Times. He lectures widely, and appears frequently on television, radio and podcasts, includingas a frequent guest on StarTalk Radio and host of the new spinoff StarTalk All Stars.