Earth Born

Caroline Rothwell & Tim Flannery

Caroline Rothwell: At the moment I’m fascinated by the geoengineering devices being developed in relation to climate change. The way that some of the technology is being presented is kind of magical and a bit Baron Munchausen-esque.

Tim Flannery: The history of geoengineering is even more Munchausenesque than its current manifestation. In the 1960s Soviet and American scientists considered how they might warm the north by using hydrogen bombs to destroy the Arctic ice cap.

Caroline Rothwell: The romance of cloud imagery, vast oceans, gently falling rain can lull us (and I imagine potential investors) into thinking that these technologies can be our saviour.

Tim Flannery: Today geoengineering is at least focused on undoing the harm unconsciously done through burning fossil fuels.

Caroline Rothwell: Maybe too big a question but this technological ‘planetary war’ (as James Hansen calls it) on nature seems counter-intuitive.

Tim Flannery: The truth is we’ve been geoengineering for decades but have not owned up to it. Our burning of so much fossil fuel has been a vast, uncontrolled experiment with Earth’s atmosphere, and it is now having consequences.

Read in full via the online issue 

Caroline Rothwell
Attendants (after Schongauer)  2012
Britannia metal, hardware and plywood, 200 x 182 x 192 cm
Installation view, Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne
Courtesy of the artist