Geo-engineering Is Highly Risky, Better Solutions Exist

Geo-engineering, schemes that massively manipulate the planet’s atmosphere to cool global warming, entails great risks because some of the results could be wildly unpredictable and destructive to planetary life, reports Michael Specter at the New Yorker. British geo-engineering researcher Hugh Hunt notes that “if we have to use these tools it means something on this planet has gone seriously wrong.” Perhaps it has. He adds that carbon emissions are heavy – indeed, about 30 gallons of gas produces over 600 pounds of carbon dioxide, and no one can yet answer how to dispose of it to prevent further warming. The best solution, nearly all scientists agree, would be the simplest: stop burning fossil fuels, which would reduce the amount of carbon we dump into the atmosphere. But few countries show the political will to significantly reduce emissions, especially the US, the second largest planetary carbon emitter. The problem? Doing nothing entails the least political risk now, but the greatest physical risk ultimately to our civilization.  Expecting multilateral action may not be as realistic as unilateral action by different nations, which are, after all, unilaterally polluting the planet daily.


The Climate Fixers    Is there a technological solution to global warming? by Michael Specter


About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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