With all the damage that’s already been done to the environment, hopes for reversing climate change are increasingly diminishing recently. As fossil fuel companies refuse to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and people all over the globe continue to drive everywhere they go, seemingly not a lot of progress is being made ecologically. It is because of this that some scientists have begun to consider alternative options to simply trying to cut worldwide carbon emissions.
One of the upcoming ideas is titled “geo-engineering.” I had heard the term before these readings but hadn’t known what it was really about. In essence, geo-engineering describes deliberate, large-scale intervention in the climate system to counter global warming or offset some of its effects—and not in the way you might think. Instead of focusing on cleaning up the globe, or reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, geo-engineering attempts to mask the warming of the earth in a dangerous but surprisingly cheap way.
My big problem with geo-engineering, one I’m sure others share with me, is that it isn’t really a solution to the problem. It might make the earth cooler short-term, but as the article Re-Engineering the Earth states, “geo-engineering is so risky that the cure might be worse than the disease.” I agree with this statement. Although a last-ditch effort to save the planet may become necessary sometime in the future, I believe that it shouldn’t be necessary now. If people around the world stepped up and cared more about the future than their jobs or money, we might be able to make a substantial change purely because of the amount of people on earth that could direct an effort. Ideas such as pumping sulfur in the air to reflect the sun are only going to make problems worse the second we stop doing that and acid rain and years’ worth of accumulated carbon pour down.
But, the fact remains—as long as carbon emissions remain constant, the atmosphere will fill with more and more greenhouse gases. Blocking the sun will do absolutely nothing to stop the buildup. A solution to climate change lies in political changes that will influence the masses to make a lifestyle change that could greatly reduce our emissions. It also lies in green technologies being improved and expanded. To save the planet we need to kill global warming at the root—not just simply chop off a few branches.