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Geoengineering: Yay or nay?

October 31, 2010
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Should humans be allowed to intervene with climate change – by changing it further?

Geoengineering includes methods of hard engineering that dramatically alter the way the Earth’s ecosystems function, in order to control freak weather and other symptoms of global warming. In short, it’s Man’s struggle to control our climate again through manipulation. Some call it costly but promising technology on adaptation and mitigation, but the consensus is that it is highly experimental.

It may be a case of ‘innocent until proven guilty’, but the risks involved in erecting carbon sequestration artificial trees or sending large reflecting panels into space to reduce the intensity of the Sun’s rays are a step too far for scientists, as seen at the 10th Convention on Biodiversity in Nagoya held earlier this week.

A moratarium was proposed and passed by signatories to the Convention on Biodiversity, where geoengineering is subtly tucked away in a line that says:

“Any private or public experimentation or adventurism intended to manipulate the planetary thermostat will be in violation of this carefully crafted UN consensus.”

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/299588#ixzz13vfcWUoN

Of course, not all nations have signed this. The United States, for example, is considering geoengineering techniques:

The Government Accountability Office found in its report more than 50 current studies, totaling slightly more than $100 million, focusing on piecemeal strategies to reverse climate change, but none directly addresses what would happen if adventurous programs on carbon dioxide reduction and solar radiation management were put in place.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/10/30/white-house-coordinate-geoengineering-research-help-fight-climate-change/

Nevertheless, such projects are fraught with difficulties in terms of policies and funding. Developing countries are effectively cut out of the loop by the exorbitant amounts of federal money required, but it is likely that the effects (both positive and negative) will be global. We have to think about the intricacies of our natural world and the biodiversity. Are we ready to take over Autopilot on this sinking ship, and do we know what’re doing?

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