It gratifies me to read that the President’s science advisor, John Holdren, is a proponent of geoengineering as a possible option to counter atmospheric global warming. I have long held the position that going green is not going to be sufficient, and for two reasons: Granting that I am a pessimist, I still don’t think that humanity as a whole can do it fast enough, and secondly, global warming would still continue because of the carbon dioxide that is already in the atmosphere. It’s going to be there for centuries, because it takes that long for the earth to filter it out in the absence of geoengineering techniques.
We as a species created this mess, and it’s our responsibility to clean it up. The earth can clean itself up, eventually, but in the meantime, countless other inhabitants of the planet could die off. The most recent TIME Magazine, in fact, has a cover story about the “mass extinction” that some scientists say has already begun here. The most recent National Geographic has an article about vanishing amphibian populations. The earth could indeed clean up the mess that Homo sapiens made of its atmosphere, but at what cost? No, this is our moral imperative. (Read more…)