Ep. 438: Destroy and Rebuild, Pt. 2: Geoengineering

We know humans are having an impact on planet Earth, but what if we really put our backs into it, and intentionally tried to change the entire planet? Either to make it better, or to fix some terrible mistake we’ve made. The technique is called geoengineering. Could it work?

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One Response to Ep. 438: Destroy and Rebuild, Pt. 2: Geoengineering

  1. Dmitry February 11, 2017 at 10:56 am #

    Fraser is right. It hard to get all the powers to agree to act unless the danger has a certain date and is not far away. Otherwise, we may hope to get lucky that it will pass us by, or if not, we will worry about it later, why worry now. Someone else might take care of it, say via the crazy ideas about space mirrors or algal bloom-inducing chemicals in the ocean.

    In the meantime, we’ll continue with our consumption as usual, even though that very consumption – mainly of products from fossil fuels and methane-burping animals on land continually cleared from forests, as well as wood and paper from those forests – is the root cause of the problem that needs fixing.

    Now, how about another crazy idea that seems to me much more plausible:

    Don’t buy a polluting car.
    Don’t consume animal products.
    Don’t buy products from chopped forests.

    Our civilisation has advanced far enough, that there are now alternatives like electric cars, and even meatless meat, fishless fish and cow-free cheese, so you don’t have to go back living in the trees (that is also kind of relevant to one of the prior shows’ crazy idea about breeding goats on Mars). Now, you may have just launched your own personal little space mirror, yay! Multiply that by a gazillion of invidividuals, even if it is just a fraction of the 7 billion, and you don’t need SpaceX.

    The problem solved, the planet slowly recovers, the climate cools, animals repopulate newly expanded rain forests and nature reserves, fish re-fill the oceans and corals spring back to life. That will be the best geo-engineering in reverse and the hallmark of our intelligence as a species: respecting the planet and nature by leaving it alone, otherwise, it is kind of “don’t know what you’ve got until you lose it” – similar to that Pamela’s Descartes quote.


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