Let's Fix This Country

Panel Says Let’s Start Messing With Our Atmosphere

Geo-engineering becoming our only option Last September we ran a story the gist of which was, if you are not convinced humans are changing the climate and think nothing should be done, you should be aware of the desperate measures we Earthlings would have to take if you turn out to be wrong. The story was titled " If We Don’t Stop Global Warming, You’re Not Going to Like Plan B" and it explored geo-engineering, the various methods, such as spraying sulfates in the clouds, that climate scientists postulate as a way to reflect sunlight away from the Earth.

If that seems far-fetched, the sort of future speculation that Popular Science readers enjoy, a two-volume report commissioned by the National Research Council has since been released that should persuade any doubter. One volume looks at capturing and burying the carbon dioxide emitted by power plants and certain manufacturing and finds that it is both too costly and too limited in effect. The second volume says we should get moving to expand research on what would be the best methods to block sunlight and conduct actual tests in our atmosphere to see if they work. As we plunge headlong into the future without doing anywhere enough to prevent irreversible damage to the only planet we have, the grotesque and unpredictable scenario of tampering with the atmosphere will be all that's left to us.

Our geo-engineering piece is found here.

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