The Planet Remade: How Geoengineering Could Change the World by Oliver Morton
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Mankind has spent millennia altering and changing their local environment, but with the discovery of fossil fuels and our current addiction to them we have begun the process of changing the entire global climate. He explores the effect we have had on our world with carbon dioxide, nitrogen fertilisers and sulphate in the atmosphere and considers the perilous situation that the world could be in just a few years. Even though some choose to ignore it, climate change is the thing that isn’t going to go away.
A need to address the risks of global warming is urgent and pressing. A small group of scientists are looking at proposals such as cultivation of photosynthetic plankton or a stratospheric veil against the sun or having automated robotic ships cloud seeding for intervention against the effect of climate change. In this book Morton seeks to inform us about the benefits and hazards of these geoengineering strategies. Even trying to change things in a positive way is fraught with danger, but inaction holds equal dangers.
Morton has drawn together a broad overview on the coming threats of climate change and the possibilities that geoengineering offers in digging us out of the mire. It does make for interesting reading the discussion of the technologies available to reduce carbon emissions and reflect sunlight back into space. While he covers various new technologies and new ways that are being considered to combat this, he didn’t seem to be bold enough to commit to the one he would recommend. Overall this isn’t a bad book, but didn’t seem to have the focus that I was expecting, but then that might be because the solution might be as dangerous as the problem. 2.5 stars.
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