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Can Geoengineering Really Help Solve the Global Warming Crisis?
on June 10, 2010
According to many scientists that are involved with climate change research, we may already be at or very near the point of no return due to the amount of carbon dioxide already present in the atmosphere. If that is the case, are we already doomed to massive rises in ocean levels, changes in monsoon patterns, increased drought and any other number of possible side effects of global warming? These are the questions that the author of this book attempts to answer by interviewing a number of experts in the field of global climate change.
One of the answers that has been proposed is that we "geoengineer" the planet by trying a number of different techniques to lessen the amount of sun light that is striking the earth. Some of the ideas have been outlandish: dropping millions of styrofoam balls in the ocean, sending giant umbrellas into space to "shade" the earth, and other equally weird proposals. Some of the ideas, however, are much simpler and much more likely to be cost effective and effective in lowering the amount of sun hitting the planet. Included in these ideas are pumping small particulate matter into the upper atmosphere, increasing the reflectivity of clouds and dumping thousand of tons of iron into the ocean to increase the amount of plankton, which would absorb carbon dioxide from the air.
The author explores these ideas and provides a background into the history of geoengineering as well interviewing key players that have been involved in trying to find a solution to climate change. The author also explores the ethical and moral obligations that geoengineering would hold, as well as how the concept would be regulated and by whom.
The book is well written and provides a glimpse into the possible solutions that may be proposed if we are, in fact, past the tipping point. If you don't believe global warming exists, then there will be nothing in this book for you. If, however, you do believe in global warming I would highly recommend this book, as it offers a glimpse into what the future may hold.