Stuart Gaffin is a climate researcher at Columbia University and a regular contributor with his blog “Exhausted Earth”. ThomsonReuters is not responsible for the content – the views are the author’s alone.

fuller.jpgA retrospective exhibit about the life and inventions of R. Buckminster Fuller (a.k.a. Bucky) is about to open at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City . Fuller was truly one-of-a-kind-an iconoclastic architect, inventor, engineer, and philosopher.

I still have vivid memories of a public talk he gave at Columbia University in the late 1970′s. He died in 1983. He is best known as the leading proponent, if not inventor, of the geodesic dome, the sturdy spherical structure, composed of triangular elements, that closely approximates a sphere.  

It’s hard to imagine Bucky not being engaged by the modern problems of global warming. It would have attracted him on all fronts: the energy challenges, the technological challenges and the ‘geo-engineering’ challenges.

Geo-engineering is the term used to describe large-scale human interventions that could possibly offset climate change such as deliberate releases of particles into the stratosphere to block sunlight, or the capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere and power plants.