Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission
January 20th 2022 - Dr. Alice Bell - A Zoom Presentation
"Our Biggest Experiment - The Epic History of the Climate Crisis"
It was Eunice Newton Foote, an American scientist and women's rights campaigner living in Seneca Falls, New York, who first warned the world that an atmosphere heavy with carbon dioxide could send temperatures here on Earth soaring. This was back in 1856. At the time, no one paid much attention.
This presentation is a Zoom presentation with a special time of 1:00 PM.
Nature Speaks is free admission but registration is necessary.
The Library will send you a Zoom link as the even approaches.
Roll on to 1956, and oceanographer Roger Revelle would be in Congress, lobbying for funds for more research, briefing them that: "From the standpoint of meteorologists and oceanographers we are carrying out a tremendous geophysical experiment of a kind that could not have happened in the past or be reproduced in the future."
Traversing science, politics, and technology, Our Biggest Experiment shines a spotlight on the little-known scientists who sounded the alarm to reveal the history behind the defining story of our age: the climate crisis.
This talk will tease out the stories of scientists that took us from Foote’s simple experiment on her windowsill to Revelle testimony in DC, joining the dots to tell the story of how we discovered the climate crisis.
As citizens of the twenty-first century, it can feel like history has dealt us a rather bad hand in the climate crisis. In many ways, this is true. But our ancestors have left us a lot of resources too, not least the wonders of modern climate science.
Eunice Newton Foote
The Keeling Curve
Guy Stewart Callendar circa 1934
Roger Revelle circa 1939
Her book, "Our Biggest Experiment" recounts how the world became addicted to fossil fuels, how we discovered that electricity could be a savior, and how renewable energy is far from a twentieth-century discovery.
Dr. Bell cuts through complicated jargon and jumbles of numbers to show how we're getting to grips with what is now the defining issue of our time. The message she relays is ultimately hopeful; harnessing the ingenuity and intelligence that has driven the history of climate change research can result in a more sustainable and bearable future for humanity.
Dr. Alice Bell is is co-director at the UK climate change charity Possible, working on a range of projects from community tree planting events to research into world-leading solar powered railways.
She has a PhD in science communication from Imperial College, and lectured on their science communication MSc and undergraduate humanities programme.
She’s also worked at Sussex’s Science Policy Research Unit, City Journalism School, the Science Museum and as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of Can We Save the Planet? (Thames and Hudson, Spring 2020) and Our Biggest Experiment, a history of the climate crisis (Bloomsbury, Summer 2021).