While reading this week’s passage I was at first really conflicted on which side made the better argument. However, after having heard a lecture, in one of my classes, from the Director of the EPA’s Pacific Ecological Systems Division, something stood out to me while reading. The Gaian perspective tells us that we must respect Earth and that nature knows best. On the flip side, the Promethean perspective tells us that we can use technology to our benefit and reverse climate change. However, during the recent lecture, Dr. Thornhill said that in the field of Ecology, very few things are solvable, the best we can do is to manage the problems as best as we can. With that being said, I think both perspectives move towards that reality, but I personally don’t think that geoengineering is the best way to move forward.
I do understand that something must be done about our current ecological crisis, however I think that, like many things in human history, geoengineering might be a short term goal that doesn’t take into account the long term outcomes. If we can understand what the long term effects of geoengineering will be I think that is a much more positive thing. And even if geoengineering had no long term effects, technology as it is currently performs dismally. The world’s largest carbon capture plant, captures 4,000 tons of carbon out of the environment every year, which sounds super impressive, until it only captures 3 seconds worth of human CO2 emissions. It just isn’t feasible. I think this is an example of how humans are trying to find a cure to climate change rather than doing our best to manage the problem.
Maybe I’m wrong on this, but I just don’t believe that geoengineering is the path forward. I believe that first and foremost, we must end fossil fuels. I think that if the U.S, North America, and the whole World is serious about mitigating the effects of climate change, fossil fuels have got to go. Next, I think political action is the 2nd most important solution to ease the effects of the current crisis. I think that if we start implementing laws that ban the use of fossil fuels and industries that cause a lot of pollution, it can help ease the role our country has played in the climate crisis. I also think that having tax deductions or incentives for everyone to switch to electric vehicles is very important. Lastly, applying these policies worldwide is almost worthy of being the most important. Because if only 1 country out of ~200 worldwide are taking measures to curb climate change, then what is the point? Mitigating the effects of climate change will be a worldwide effort and only will work as long as the world as a whole is willing to work together.