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Is It Impossible To Avoid Climate Change Without Geo-Engineering?

Is It Impossible To Avoid Climate Change Without Geo-Engineering?

The problem I have always had with Geo-Engineering is that might work. And because it exists as a possible option (or a backdoor, a plan B) to combat climate change, it will be used as an excuse to not take more appropriate yet unpopular action until its too late.

A new report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers has detailed how Geo-Engineering “could provide the world with extra time to de-carbonise the global economy”.

CO2 emissions

The BBC has interpreted the report as a claim that “without geo-engineering it will be impossible to avoid dangerous climate change”. Having read the original report I can confidently it makes no such claim. It simply simply lists it as a 3rd option to prevent climate change.

I’m not against the idea of Geo-Engineering, far from it. However, I feel that there are more direct options we have to try first. We are living beyond our means, unseasonably abusing the worlds resources. A climate “patch” will not solve this in the long. And Geo-Engineering comes with own share of risks. No one can be sure how the world will react to any sort of climate altering, it is essentially how we got in this mess in the first place.

The new report however suggests some less radical ideas on how to reduce C02 levels in the atmosphere.

  • Artificial Trees: Research is underway into building machines capable of mimicking trees by removing CO2 from the atmosphere. The CO2 is the buried in Carbon Capture Storage (CCS)
  • Algae-coated buildings: Algae naturally absorbs CO2 and strips of algae can be fitted to the outside of buildings and then harvested from the surfaces and used as bio-fuel.
  • Reflective buildings: Reducing solar radiation will help reduce temperatures. Making surfaces hit by the suns rays more reflective will help less radiation be absorbed.

So is it to late to avoid dangerous climate change without resorting to Geo-Engineering. I think it probably is, just because its going to be a more popular to choose it over making everyone change the way we live our lives.


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