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Argument: Geoengineering concepts dampen public will to cut emissions

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"Geo-engineering is no solution to climate change". Guardian. 1 Sept. 2008 - It is a testament to the world's catastrophic levels of inertia that when it comes to dealing with climate change, a relatively simple physical phenomenon, "geo-engineering solutions" are now being seriously looked at by scientists.

The ideas on show today range from the distant but interesting to the outright dangerous. However, the wider point is not the pros and cons of particular technologies, but that the scientific community is becoming so scared of our collective inability to tackle climate emissions that such outlandish schemes are being considered for serious study. We already have the technology and know-how to make dramatic cuts in global emissions - but it's not happening, and those closest to the climate science are coming near to pressing the panic button.

While the real climate solutions are blocked by vested interests seeking big bucks from coal, runways and forest destruction, our government tells us that it is taking "tough decisions" by cosying up to them. The scientist's focus on tinkering with our entire planetary system is not a dynamic new technological and scientific frontier, but an expression of political despair.


Alan Robock. "20 reasons why geoengineering may be a bad idea". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist. 2008: 13. Undermining emissions mitigation. If humans perceive an easy technological fix to global warming that allows for “business as usual,” gathering the national (particularly in the United States and China) and international will to change consumption patterns and energy infrastructure will be even more difficult. 18 This is the oldest and most persistent argument against geoengineering.

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