Just because we can doesn’t mean we should

Before reading “Re-Engineering the Earth” I didn’t know that there was a large body of science dedicated to Geo-engineering. After reading these two articles geoengineering feels like a “quick fix” so people can continue to live their lives in a way that harms the environment and increases the devastation that is climate change. At first glance many of the Geo-engineering solutions sounded promising but then when you took a second look and found out about the potentially dangerous drawbacks it takes a darker turn. The article highlights one geoengineering plan which is to pump sulfur into the atmosphere, while this plan would help 6 billion people, 1 billion people would suffer the drastic consequences. Specifically, people in Africa, and Asia. To me Geo-engineering seems to be a way for countries/people who have the means to “buy” their way out of the devastation that climate change will ultimately cause them. Like we have discussed in class, many times these countries are the ones that are making the most greenhouse gases, but they are ultimately not the ones who will feel the full weight of climate change. It almost feels like a cop out. 

The article also suggests that if people believe that in an emergency there is a way to cool the earth down in the future, people won’t be as interested in helping lower carbon emissions. It might make countries more hesitant to keep policies that limit the emission of carbon. Geo-engineering takes away the urgency and importance that should surround the climate crisis. As of right now I don’t think we should be thinking about methods to Geo-engineering our way out of the problem. We should be focusing on how to lower carbon emissions, living in ways that lower our personal carbon footprint and keeping the overall temperatures from rising. 

Image found on Pixabay

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