So there is a new National Academy of Sciences report on the idea of ‘geo-engineering.’ That’s a soothing sounding term for “doing technical stuff at a global scale to escape/lessen the consequences of having ignored the climate scientists’ generation of warnings to cut back on the carbs”.
For instance there’s
– mirrors in space to reduce the amount of sunlight hitting the earth,
– throwing enormous amounts of sulphur into clouds (don’t think too hard about what it will do when it comes down, ‘kay?),
– throwing iron filings on the ocean to get plankton to absorb more C02, and even
– nuking Europe and ‘Merica to reduce emissions (I may have made that last one up).
And predictably the NAS sociologist who looked into the people who look into this sort of thing says the idea is “wildly, utterly, howlingly barking mad.”
So that’s a clincher for me. We will definitely try it, when some of the shit that hits the fan starts seriously inconveniencing rich white people.
Why so sure?
a) as I was taught when learning to drive – “always assume that the other guy is about to do something staggeringly stupid”
b) we are a civilisation hopelessly devoted to the hubristic notion of technological solutions for EVERYTHING.
And we will start saying to ourselves “what have we got to lose?” By then – which is probably sooner than we like to think – that will be a “killer” argument, an accurate one.
See also a piece I wrote about one Thomas Schelling, who visited Manchester to expound just such a position. I didn’t at the time realise quite how long he’d been seriously engaged on climate (he was a ’70s JASON and all that).