Read an interesting article about the future prospects of geoengineering. In order to save you the 1.8 seconds it would take Google to tell you what this is, I will briefly explain: We are playing God once more.
While this is a relatively small field of study that has only boomed in the past three years, it is by no means, a small-scale idea. As the world becomes more concerned by drowning polar bears and weeping lemurs who no longer have that summer abode in the forest, we are also quickly realizing that stopping this destruction is harder than we thought. “Turn off greenhouse gases”. Great. Fantastic plan. We’re already 50% there!
Tell that to China, India, and every other post-colony nation-state that is realizing just how screwed over the European conquests have left their previously underdeveloped economies. They want their piece of the pie, and this pie requires a 30 billion metric carbon tonne knife to cut. Fuzzy polar bears can only do so much to put fast-food on the table and automobiles in our air-conditioned homes. Besides, most of them live in zoos anyway, right?
This is where geoengineering comes into play. An
old idea evil mastermind plan that is gaining some momentum, suggesting all sorts of things from emitting stratospheric aerosols to block sunlight, liquifiying atmospheric carbon dioxide and pumping it into the ocean floor, to simply throwing a ton of massive mirrors into space or mixing cold ocean water with the higher up, warmer water to limit carbon dioxide outflow. This could only lead to extraordinary success with zero to no repercussions!
Funny thing about humanity. We’re very short term. Our theorized evolution was relatively short. Our amazing leap into agriculture and permanent settlements was relatively short. Our ability to destroy in a decade what took millions of years to create just caps off our short term abilities. We are a byproduct of the Earth’s one night stand with Fate that will cost it millions in child support and years of post-partem depression and rampant alcoholism.
Even with this background we still somehow fool ourselves into thinking that doing what took the Earth millions upon millions of years to do within one lifetime will come up with the same results. Animals will adapt just fine. Ecosystems will still keep up. It’s not like the human psyche is affected by the sun, weather patterns, or ocean life. No need to worry about the apocalypse when we have *science*. The same science that somehow rejects its own notions every 50 years and tells us that the miracle cure we were so fond of as children is what caused us to age early and die of cancer as adults.
Granted, geoengineering is still a very young field. So young that this blasted WordPress spell check keeps underlining the word in those squiggly red lines. But the imposing bleakness of the hope of limiting greenhouse emissions at all will continue to push us further into solving the problem at the other side of the spectrum. Since we can’t change our petro-guzzling lifestyles to suit the world, we will change the world to suit our lifestyles. What could possibly go wrong?