Headline August05, 2014



THE WORLD'S SEAS are becoming more acidic. How much that matters is not yet clear.

But it matters one hell of a lot!

Humans, being a   terrestrial species,  are pleased to call their home  ''Earth''.

A more honest name may be  ''Sea''  ,  as more than  seven-tenths  of the planet's surface is covered with salt water.

That, in turn would lead to variations in local weather patterns. It is here that some of the political difficulties become apparent.

Climate change is contentious enough as an unintended side-effect of burning fossil fuels.

How much more rancorous would it become if human were seen openly to be controlling the weather?

Two great books on this important subject are worth many a mention:

.¬ Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering by Clive Hamilton.

.¬ A Case for Climate Engineering, By David Keith

Mr Keith imagines a geo-engineered world in which has run of dry years, with its seasonal monsoon rains failing short. It would be impossible to prove that geo-engineering was responsible:

Just as you cannot ascribe any particular typhoon to a warmed climate. But this would not matter much to the millions of hungry people looking for someone to blame.

If humans are to take charge of controlling the climate, then they will be held responsible, fairly or otherwise, for its effects. Whose hands will be on the control, and how will that person be chosen?

'''' Another common worry is that geo-engineering is simply a way for the present generation to duck its responsibilities and dump them on its children''''.

Mr Hamilton makes many important points, not least that whereas geo-engineering is seen as a new and dubious idea in the West, it is treated much more  matter-of-factly elsewhere in the world, especially in China-

Where has a long history of attempts at  weather-control. But overall his book is weakest, oddly, on the ethical questions. His tone when discussing supporters of the idea too often veer into the contemptuous, which risks alienating curious readers.

And non-expert readers may struggle with the occasional dollops of philosophical jargons    "the spatial metaphysics of the world"" . for example which should not have survived the editing process.

Mr Keith manages to keep the tone sober without ever sounding dull. His chapter on ethics deftly summarises some of the competing moral claims.:

Many people may be richer in the future, for example, so cutting emissions will be relatively less costly for them. Meanwhile, today, billions of people aspire to the clean water, plentiful food-

And advanced health care common in the advanced rich world.; mandating clean energy will make obtaining  those more expensive.

And it is the poor who lack   -the cash and resources to adapt-   who are likely to feel climate change most keenly. Even immediate emissions cuts will do little to help them.

Carbon dioxide lingers for so long in the atmosphere that Earth already faces centuries of warming.

Geo-engineering for all its many risks, might offer some immediate, temporary relief.

Reading about proposals to alter the climate of an entire planet on purpose is dizzying.

Yet Scientists already talk the dawning of new geological age, the Anthropocene, named because humans, or rather the industrial civilisation they have created:

Have become the main factor driving the evolution of the Earth.

Both these books emphasis just how seriously the idea of deliberately altering the climate is being considered, both in scientific journals and among some governments.

Mr Hamilton is an effective critic of a breathtaking idea.

But Mr Keith is a better guide for the undecided.

The conclusive truth is that the controversy over manipulating climate change is likely to flourish. Geo-engineering and climate change is, well, like,  Stopping a scorcher.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the World. See Ya all on !WOW!  -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

''' Seriously Bright "'

Good night and God bless!

SAM Daily Times - The Voice of the Voiceless


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