Why the sudden interest in geoengineering such as solar radiation management or carbon capture and storage? Is geoengineering a techno-fix? Why or why not? Do you think geoengineering is a viable solution to climate change?
As scientists learn more about the time scale with climate change, they learn that due to our inaction as a species to collectively come together and reduce emissions, our window to reverse the damage without global disaster or intervention has long passed. The topic is popular now because each and everyday it becomes more and more appealing. These topics become more interesting because they could become useful tools for us to save our planet and its species. However, techno-fixes like these come with unforeseen consequences as both articles and video point out. I really like David Keith’s idea of having an international, open-access research program that could, within a decade, dramatically improve understanding of the risks and efficacy of solar geoengineering. Clive Hamilton states that geoengineering is not a good idea because of those consequences and the philosophy of techno-fixes; techno-fixes are appealing when we are unwilling to change ourselves and our social institutions, so instead we try to change our environment. Here’s where I stand: geoengineering is not the solution, but a part of it. Like Keith said, with the combination of reducing emissions by switching to renewable and safe energy sources, sucking carbon out of the air, planting more trees, and solar management, these technologies give us a fighting chance. It’s not that we want to geoengineer the Earth, it’s that past generations and human procrastination has left us with no other choice. We could debate about the consequences forever, but I believe it would be more worth it if we would rather take the time that we do have left and research every single tool we have left. Further debate is just another subsidiary of inaction, what we really need is more research.