Geo-engineering for Sustainability
The definition of Geo-engineering is this: the deliberate large-scale manipulation of an environmental process that affects the earth’s climate, in an attempt to counteract the effects of global warming. This is an active way of actually shaping the environment and atmosphere, to counter act the negative effects of our industrial efforts on this planet. The idea is very intriguing, that we could engineer some type of reversal.
The author of this article does well to point out that, even though the Paris climate accord was created, and measures taken, we would not reach the promised temperatures outlined. It is a great idea to look at alternative methods of addressing climate change. We are, everyday, finding new and improved methods of energy consumption and conservation, and it would be silly to limit that endeavor.
The author cites several scientists that say we aren’t acting fast enough, even with the accord. We need to focus more on developing new technology and select the fields of engineering that will yield the quicker, more substantive results. There are a few methods described by the author, one of which is “Stratospheric Aerosol Insertion,” a way to mimic the side effects of a volcanic eruption. We are spending too much money on things that will have smaller yield than other, higher yield subjects. The author does not suggest we start geo-engineering now, or even in this decade, but that it does deserve serious research and consideration. The idea, that we can actively manipulate the atmosphere, in a positive way, not just negatively, is what they are suggesting.
The article is very interesting, and takes a unique perspective on the issue of climate change. Whatever side of the argument you fall, the idea that we can make the earth better through geo-engineering has to be intriguing. It could create jobs, heck, it could create entirely new industries! It is still a new field of study, but, we should be pursuing it more. We should be actively searching for an answer to the feasibility of the idea, and the potential rewards, AND the potential consequences. Identifying these things can only be good for us and the world, and we should not hesitate in trying to discover more. The question then becomes, would we screw up the earths natural cycles even more? How can we know the consequences of our efforts 1 million years from now? Its impossible to tell at this moment, but inaction does not seem to be correct either.