Explore geo-engineering with ABC Innovation

>From Australians stranded in Europe to fresh vegetable growers in Africa, people dependent on the world’s airlines have done it hard in the past two weeks. If the eruption of one volcano in Iceland can disrupt us so badly, what could the Bluebird project do? You are about to find out. >From today, the ABC invites you to enter the world of the experimental science of geoengineering-the deliberate manipulation of the Earth’s atmosphere to counteract climate change. Bluebird AR, an interactive alternative reality story about geoengineering, will play out on websites, in the social media, on ABC programs, and all around you. Bluebird AR is about Kyle Vandercamp, a brilliant, young, Australian researcher employed on a top-secret, privately-financed project to study solutions to climate change. He becomes deeply concerned about the project’s true objectives and finally decides to blow the whistle. You can find out why. He has his own blog at http://www.otakudaddy.net/kyle/. Bluebird AR presents an opportunity to explore the ethical, geopolitical and environmental issues of actions such as blowing sulphur particles or reflective materials into the atmosphere, releasing iron into the ocean, or burying carbon deep in rock. Will they save or destroy the world? Who decides whether we should try them? The story may be fiction, but its background is not. The science foundations of the project were developed with the help of Stanford climate scientist, Ken Caldiera, Canadian environmental scientist, David Keith, and US futurologist, Jamais Cascio. According to Bluebird AR’s creators, during the year it has taken to write and produce the materials, several of Bluebird’s scenarios have come true-just like eruption of Eyjafjallajökull. And the role of philanthro-capitalists is explored. Bill Gates and his peers have made remarkable contributions to global health. But could there be billionaires out there who are willing to go a step further to ‘save the world’? Fictional character Juanita Monte is a journalist and film maker producing an online documentary series Now I Can Change The World on philanthro-capitalism. Her first episode is now online at www.nowicanchangetheworld.com (and is an entirely factual 25-minute doco) and her second episode was to be a profile of fictional emerging philanthro-capitalist Harrison Wyld. But her project takes a turn when Kyle blows the whistle on Bluebird. The program should generate intense interest among thinking young Australians-and worldwide. And it will provide plenty of opportunities for discussion and interaction in all sorts of forms. So why don’t you and your organisation become involved? All it takes to get started is a visit to the Bluebird AR website at www.abc.net.au/bluebird Not only is Bluebird AR an interesting experiment in how to tell a story involving science, but people in your organisation could well be approached to provide background, answer questions, comment or make suggestions. If you want to take the opportunity, you can steer the process. Your organisation can become involved, providing people and information to add to the debate, and at the same time promoting itself and the field in which it is working. If there are people in your organisation who could contribute, or who would like to be briefed as the project develops we would be pleased to hear from them. Join the debate, unlock the drama and explore a whole new form of online storytelling with Bluebird AR. abc.net.au/bluebird For more information please contact Niall Byrne, niall@scienceinpublic.com.au, 0417 131 977.

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