The Great Debate

Our current climate crisis is undeniable, and humanity now must take steps to try and fix these problems we’ve caused, or at least put systems in place to slow it down. What these steps should be is the big debate at this point, and as described in Thiele’s article, geoengineering is a possible solution. However, as this is a giant decision to be made, there are two polar sides in this debate on whether or not to use geoengineering. On one hand are the Gaians, who believe that Earth is a powerful presence that can take care of itself and needs no human intervention to fix its’ climate crisis. In fact they go as far as to claim that to impose our technology on the environment would be for us to play God. On the other hand are the Prometheans, who would prefer to use humanities technological advancements to try and reverse or slow down the effects of the ecological crisis. Thiele proposes that to create a middle ground for these two sides of the debate, sustainability should be discussed. I found it interesting that sustainability was brought up, but it does make sense, given that both Gaians and Prometheans would support sustainability efforts, and in fact already do.

In the contemplation of geoengineering, the question on whether some actions such as SRM would have disastrous unintended consequences was one that I thought was very important to the debate. As Prometheans have claimed, the unintentional consequences may not definitely be terrible, but it’s still something that should be taken into account. Thiele also pointed out that most Prometheans don’t believe that we should implement geoengineering in its current form, but rather should wait and do more research on it and only use it as a last resort. This point I think was one of the more important ones in the article; Prometheans don’t just want to use technology for the sake of it, they want to have it ready in the event that we should need it if other efforts have no effect. Overall, however, I personally feel that we can’t spend too long debating about what to do; in order to try and slow down the destruction of our environments around the world we must take action now.

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