Geoengineering and the Climate Crisis

Rex Tillerson clearly stated his views of climate change during remarks in 2012 at an event sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations.

“And as human beings as a — as a — as a species, that’s why we’re all still here. We have spent our entire existence adapting, OK? So we will adapt to this. Changes to weather patterns that move crop production areas around — we’ll adapt to that. It’s an engineering problem, and it has engineering solutions. And so I don’t — the fear factor that people want to throw out there to say we just have to stop this, I do not accept.” 

earthwrenchGeoengineering now seems to have become the de facto climate policy of the Trump White House and the GOP as they, on the one hand, deny the apparent fact of climate change, and on the other hand, prepare to fight it by employing poorly tested technology with unknown long term effects! 

In Conservative circles, seductive but superficial reasoning exists for Geoengineering being so popular.  One is that on a large scale, it can make several corporations and individuals very rich.  Another is that the effects of carbon based fuels can be downplayed by government and industry now.  After all, any atmospheric heating caused by burning fossil fuels and a buildup of carbon dioxide can be minimized by employing geoengineering technologies.  In short, the current state of Conservative thinking, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs translates into Burn, Burn, Burn.

Globally, the atmospheric carbon dioxide level reached 403 ppm this year (it held between 180 ppm and 290 ppm for the previous 800,000 years).  Even so, fossil fuels still reign supreme as the power source of world economies.  With no end in sight for the abatement of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels or the employment of alternative/renewable power sources, carbon dioxide levels will continue to rise.  Planet cooling by geoengineering will just mask the warming effects of elevated carbon dioxide levels.  At some point, as yet undetermined, Earth will depend upon geoengineering to remain within livable limits.  It is apparent that once we are hooked on geoengineering in a world with high atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, any cessation of geoengineering efforts will be accompanied by rapid and severe global climate changes to unacceptable levels.

Obviously, clear thinking is in short supply.  At best, geoengineering is the environmental equivalent of the opioid crisis and at its worst it is applied asininity, if not a downright “Faustian Bargain” of epic proportions.

If you want deeper insight into geoengineering and the climate emergency, please read the following:

https://cleantechnica.com/2017/11/09/new-computer-modeling-helps-scientist-analyze-effects-geoengineering

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/nation-world/national/article183547911.html

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/11/02/561608576/massive-government-report-says-climate-is-warming-and-humans-are-the-cause

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/11/08/pruitt-says-alarming-climate-report-not-deter-replacement-clean-power-plan/839857001

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/06/how-indias-battle-with-climate-change-could-determine-all-of-our-fates

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/08/seven-megatrends-that-could-beat-global-warming-climate-change

https://qz.com/index/1116160/for-800000-years-carbon-dioxide-levels-moved-between-180-ppm-and-290-ppm-last-year-they-got-to-403-ppm/

11 thoughts on “Geoengineering and the Climate Crisis

  1. I wanted to tell you I reblogged this piece this morning. I didn’t use reblog because it (again) stopped working properly and “press it” is not working at all. So the best I could do was copy and paste it and send any comments back your way. I had been planning to reblog this since I first read it, but I decided today was the day. Sorry i could use the jump links — that’s WordPress’s mess to fix — but you can find it here: https://teepee12.com/2017/11/24/geoengineering-and-the-climate-crisis-j-r-lince-hopkins/

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  2. Pingback: GEOENGINEERING AND THE CLIMATE CRISIS – J. R. LINCE- HOPKINS | SERENDIPITY

  3. I read an article that explored at least four kinds of engineering, and basically reached the conclusion that one or several in combination might slow the now inevitable progression to doom for most life on earth. The most promising one, it seemed to me, was one involving machines the extract CO2 from the air. The only problem is that there would need to be a whole lot of them all over the world. (This is probably the one that will make a small group of people very rich.). Another interesting experiment consisted in putting huge white planes (geographic planes, plastic? cloth?) over Arctic ice during the summer. It seemed to help some in the area so covered. But clearly this is impossible for large areas. Oh dear, it’s so complicated! I guess we relax and pray.

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    • My goodness, Carolyn — I moved too quickly past your comment on geoengineerng and apologize for being tardy. Maybe Puck will forgive me. Is Puck de-clawed?😳

      Anyway, the whole geoengineering topic is beyond my imagination or maybe beyond my willingness to imagine.The suggestion of machines that extract CO2 is a kind of engineering that would seem to be the least intrusive remediation, but, then, where does all that CO2 go? The Tower of Babel strikes me as the appropriate biblical metaphor for this. We wreck the planet because we insist on building the impregnable city with its top in the heavens.

      Apologies again for being so late in responding. Blessings and Advent greetings to you, Barb, and Puck.

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  4. Indeed.
    The balance of economic evidence is fairly clear that there is more money to be made now from renewable energy and climate change is a major threat to ecomonies. so we are now in the bazaar situation of being held hostage by a small group of people who are heavily invested in fossil fuels and old technology. So much for the free market.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi, David. Good to hear from you. The free market slogan doesn’t meant a thing, as we both know. By using the word ‘free’, it causes Americans to bow down. By the time we Americans pull our heads up, the rest of the world will have left us in the [cold]dust.

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