Playing with Fire as the World Burns

Past Event: 11/06/16

Climate Change - in the form of the abrupt, anthropogenic global warming that climate scientists have been warning us about for decades – poses a catastrophic threat to civilization that we ignore at our peril, not to mention the expense of future generations, collapsing ecosystems, and countless non-human species. 

Joining us via Skype are

  • Dr. Gavin Schmidt - climate modeler and Director of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
  • Baba Brinkman - peer-reviewed rapper & creator of the off Broadway sensation:The Rap Guide to Climate Chaos

for a discussion of what science has to say about climate change,
how best to communicate that to the masses,
and our best options going forward.


About the speakers:

Gavin Schmidt (description from from )

"Gavin Schmidt is a climate modeller at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York and is interested in modeling past, present and future climate. He works on developing and improving coupled climate models and, in particular, is interested in how their results can be compared to paleoclimatic proxy data. He has worked on assessing the climate response to multiple forcings, including solar irradiance, atmospheric chemistry, aerosols, and greenhouse gases.

He received a BA (Hons) in Mathematics from Oxford University, a PhD in Applied Mathematics from University College London and was a NOAA Postdoctoral Fellow in Climate and Global Change Research. He was cited by Scientific American as one of the 50 Research Leaders of 2004, and has worked on Education and Outreach with the American Museum of Natural History, the College de France and the New York Academy of Sciences. He has over 100 peer-reviewed publications and is the co-author with Josh Wolfe of “Climate Change: Picturing the Science” (W. W. Norton, 2009), a collaboration between climate scientists and photographers. He was awarded the inaugural AGU Climate Communications Prize and was the EarthSky Science communicator of the year in 2011. He tweets at @ClimateOfGavin." 


Baba Brinkman (from )

"A former tree-planter who personally planted more than one million trees, Baba Brinkman has fashioned himself into the world’s first “peer reviewed rapper”. Like all of Brinkman’s recent albums, Climate Chaos was written in consultation with scientific experts – Michael Mann, Naomi Oreskes, and NASA’s Gavin Schmidt, among others, plus a guest appearance from Bill Nye reprising the Notorious BIG.

The result is some of the most intelligent, and disturbing, music in the industry today, dropping science over soulful hooks and hard-core hip-hop beats and turntablism, with journalistic rhymes designed to provoke both thought and action. Brinkman has harsh truths to offer climate deniers and environmentalists alike. Despite what the hybrid car commercials might tell us, our individual responses to climate change aren’t even close to sufficient to stop it. Only through coordinated action can we make a difference. In other words: the challenge is to move the crowd, and Baba Brinkman is stepping up."