Can geoengineering save humanity from climate change?

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Man-made climate change is a looming threat according to the vast majority of the world’s leading climatologists, and the need to cut emissions has been emphasized for decades. Still, we’ve done little to combat global warming.

Some scientists believe we’ve already reached the tipping point where reducing emissions won’t stop average temperatures from climbing. According to these scientists, new approaches are needed to address the impending consequences of continued climate change, the most notable among them being geoengineering.

Surely if we can pump so many of these greenhouse gases out, we can find a way to reverse the process, right? It might just be possible.

Leading scientists are researching climate change geoengineering fertilizers which would help carbon-consuming ocean plants grow and flourish. They are also researching machines that would attract and devour greenhouse gases already in the air, and even the possibility of an aerosol spray that could reflect more sunlight back into space. If it sounds too crazy to be true, you’re not alone in your opinion.

Isn’t climate change geoengineering dangerous?

It is, but we may not have a choice.

Marcia McNutt, former member of the U.S. Geological Survey, led a study conducted by the National Security Council, and acknowledged that reversing climate change with new technologies has been mostly regarded as a fool’s errand. Geoengineering the planet’s climate is considered almost as dangerous as releasing the emissions in the first place, yet McNutt still believes that we need to research these possibilities just in case the worst happens.

Here’s an old TED Talk from 2007 dealing with the realities of geoengineering and its consequences:

There’s also a more practical reason for researching these climate change geoengineering technologies: other countries might choose to use them, and we need to know whether or not science supports their deployment. Better to be educated about the subject than not, they say.

What do you think about man-made global warming? Is climate change geoengineering a viable solution, or should we still remain squarely focused on drastically reducing emissions of greenhouse gases?

About Author

Jeff is a self-proclaimed pragmatic futurist; that is, he has high hopes for absurd life-altering technologies which sound too good to be true, and probably are. Although he writes on a variety of subjects, his real passion is for technological innovation and the people who make it happen. By day, he enjoys fuzzy bunnies, kittens, puppies, roller coasters and a sardonic written word or two. By night, he's busy running memyselfandrobot.com, replaying a random Final Fantasy game, or pretending to be Batman. He currently resides in Upstate NY.

4 Comments

  1. docelin@hotmail.com'

    The 17-year T/time reduction denialism is strong with the AGW-cult. Sell your homes, run to the hills, Floods and Famine, The End Is At Hand, Repent…

  2. lovinportelgin@gmail.com'

    Good grief NO! The more man mucks with things he doesn’t understand the more it gets f**ked up! Leave the climate alone and it will do just fine….the same as it’s been doing for billions of years. Our best course of action is adaptation, not trying to mess with an ecosystem when we really have no understanding of it.

  3. ecoalgebra@gmail.com'

    Organic CCS
    Biochar uses natural process to lock carbon into soil to make agriculture
    achieve higher yields, retains water and minerals, helps avoid leaching,
    blooms, dead zones, keeps money in the farmer’s pocket, co-generates
    energy that can be used in former coal poewr plants or synthesize fuels
    such as bio-Octane.
    The whole process is Carbon Negative (removs net CO2 from Air, oceans)
    Investigate “CoolTerra” by “CoolPlanet” – backed by google, BP, GE, NRG,
    Chevron, … (Nature.com predicts it will be the first bio-fuel trillion dollar
    entreprise)
    So we can increase resilience, and get green fuels.

  4. mememine6969@gmail.com'

    34 years of debate and still not enough climate action just proves science can’t verify it as an actual crisis and for eager “believers” to tell kids science doesn’t have to say it’s “proven” to be a crisis makes you libs the new fear mongering neocons in the history books.