I ran across this freebie story: the tale of an eco-warrior.
Free for a limited time
Together with his fellow student activists, Ben traveled to London on Earth Day to take one last stand. To make a final plea for an environmental solution to save the planet. Time is up on combating climate change. Humanity’s choice is about to be made. And most are choosing to leave the fate of the world to a mysterious geoengineering experiment.
Goengineering is a fascinating and terrifying idea. Humanity’s been changing the Earth for eons, and especially since the Industrial Revolution, without any plan. Would we do better if we had a plan? What about the law of unintended consequences? And what if we addressed one aspect of Climate Change, like land surface temperatures, but ignored others, like ocean acidification? There are a lot of apocalyptic dystopian stories to be spun from here, and I don’t want to live in one of them.
Here’s an article Anna Kucirkova suggested to me on geoengineering. I can’t vouch for the story or the article, but this is a topic that deserves discussion. I don’t expect to find a silver bullet. No solution that would fit inside a one-hour TV episode (not even of Star Trek TOS.)
I don’t see anything that allows humanity to go merrily on its way with fossil fuels, land and animal use, and economic inequality as usual. What do you think of our precarious future?
A number of outlets covered this: “[US] Government-backed scientists Tuesday called for research and testing of last-ditch ‘climate interventions’… ‘It is certainly a questionable [approach]. It is certainly dangerous, which is precisely why it needs to be understood. Imposing ignorance on ourselves, because we are worried we don’t want to go there, is irresponsible.'”
I am instantly suspicious of anyone, on any topic, who wants to ban research, to impose ignorance on ourselves. We suffer some sad examples in the US – our Congress has passed rules forbidding proposed health care legislation from being evaluated by the budget office, and banned research into deaths due to guns. I suppose it’s an unintended compliment when political groups use pseudoscience to shore up their positions – at least they seem to acknowledge science is important.
But the latest crop of climate change articles does something odd – it combines mitigations like trapping the carbon dioxide from industry with speculative interventions like boosting the reflectivity in Earth’s atmosphere. How does planting trees to absorb carbon dioxide get lumped in with self-levitating aerosols to block sunlight?
The climate has and will continue to change. The current warming trend is, in large part, caused by billions of humans across decades. We must adapt to this reality, limit the damage, and still provide a good life for everyone on this planet. As the poet says, “you have a right to be here.”
I hope that all proposals to improve the future don’t get painted with the same Frankenstein brush. Even geoengineering has uncontroversial ideas, like “cool roofs” on buildings. Climate change is a slow motion disaster, which means we have time to take a deep breath and think.
That said, the writer in me thinks there have to be a lot of stories in geoengineering – and not just from the all-too-standard evil-corporation-dystopia angle.