FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Fallacy of Geo-Engineering

by RYAN EUSTACE

It’s all over the news. As carbon dioxide levels surpass the milestone of four hundred parts per million, people continue to lament humanity’s seeming inability to reduce emissions. Others continue to deny that climate change exists, or that, if it does exist, it is not caused by humans. Of course, as the overwhelming minority of climatologists will tell you, this is dangerously untrue. A new narrative is taking shape though, and one that we should all be watchful of. More and more people are coming out in support of climate engineering.

Climate engineering, the deliberate altering of the Earth’s climate, with the purpose of preventing the catastrophic effects of climate change, does not function as a solution to high levels of greenhouse gasses. Erecting an enormous space mirror may cool Earth by diverting solar radiation, but it doesn’t solve the problems that caused warming. Equally problematic is how little we know about the effects of altering the Earth’s climate.

Local ecosystems are fragile, and the planet is the most fragile ecosystem of all. Sulfur entered into the atmosphere may offset the warming effects of carbon, but it also causes ozone depletion. Furthermore, with global implications of engineering, who will be implementing and regulating these climate modifications? Any government, corporation, or individual can potentially alter the climate.

American entrepreneur Russ George received widespread attention with a series of unauthorized experiments. Last year he deposited one hundred tons of Iron Sulfate off the coast of British Columbia, causing a ten thousand square kilometer plankton boom.  The plankton then sucks carbon out of the atmosphere. The problem is that this type of climate engineering is unregulated, and the effects on the local ecosystem are unknown. On a global scale, the effects could be disastrous.

Several conservative think tanks and research institutions have come out in favor of climate engineering as more effective that emissions reduction. The CATO Institute, the Heartland Institute, and the American Enterprise Institute have all celebrated the benefits of geo engineering. This is a complete reversal of the standing line that climate change is a fallacy. As climate change becomes harder and harder to deny, those with interests in unregulated emission generation are beginning to shift their tactics. And these shifts begin with the think tanks.

In the 1970s, many conservative think tanks were founded and backed by wealthy donors with the explicit purpose of advocating conservative policies. Right wing foundations, institutes, and publications conducted research and created publications to be marked directly to the public and policy makers.  An alliance of corporate leaders, conservative politicians, and academics used these institutions to popularize many Reagan era policies that assisted these corporate leaders-regressive taxation, monetarism, and hostility to trade unions.

Pay attention to the think tanks! Ideology moves from the top to the bottom. Soon, conservative media will abandon climate change denial and move to geo engineering. This is not a solution to the problem of greenhouse emissions, and serves to protect the current political and economic system. If it finds widespread acceptance, the results could be catastrophic.

Ryan Eustace is a graduate student and an activist. He is optimistic, but he is not sure for how long. 

February 09, 2016
Andrew Levine
Hillary Says the Darndest Things
Paul Street
Kill King Capital
Ben Burgis
Lesser Evil Voting and Hillary Clinton’s War on the Poor
Paul Craig Roberts
Are the Payroll Jobs Reports Merely Propaganda Statements?
Fran Quigley
How Corporations Killed Medicine
Ted Rall
How Bernie Can Pay for His Agenda: Slash the Military
Neve Gordon
Israeli Labor Party Adopts the Apartheid Mantra
Kristin Kolb
The “Great” Bear Rainforest Agreement? A Love Affair, Deferred
Joseph Natoli
Politics and Techno-Consciousness
Hrishikesh Joshi
Selective Attention to Diversity: the Case of Cruz and Rubio
Stavros Mavroudeas
Why Syriza is Sinking in Greece
David Macaray
Attention Peyton Manning: Leave Football and Concentrate on Pizza
Arvin Paranjpe
Opening Your Heart
Kathleen Wallace
Boys, Hell, and the Politics of Vagina Voting
Brian Foley
Interview With a Bernie Broad: We Need to Start Focusing on Positions and Stop Relying on Sexism
February 08, 2016
Paul Craig Roberts – Michael Hudson
Privatization: the Atlanticist Tactic to Attack Russia
Mumia Abu-Jamal
Water War Against the Poor: Flint and the Crimes of Capital
John V. Walsh
Did Hillary’s Machine Rig Iowa? The Highly Improbable Iowa Coin Tosses
Vincent Emanuele
The Curse and Failure of Identity Politics
Eliza A. Webb
Hillary Clinton’s Populist Charade
Uri Avnery
Optimism of the Will
Roy Eidelson Trudy Bond, Stephen Soldz, Steven Reisner, Jean Maria Arrigo, Brad Olson, and Bryant Welch
Preserve Do-No-Harm for Military Psychologists: Coalition Responds to Department of Defense Letter to the APA
Patrick Cockburn
Oil Prices and ISIS Ruin Kurdish Dreams of Riches
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange, the UN and Meanings of Arbitrary Detention
Shamus Cooke
The Labor Movement’s Pearl Harbor Moment
W. T. Whitney
Cuba, War and Ana Belen Montes
Jim Goodman
Congress Must Kill the Trans Pacific Partnership
Peter White
Meeting John Ross
Colin Todhunter
Organic Agriculture, Capitalism and the Parallel World of the Pro-GMO Evangelist
Ralph Nader
They’re Just Not Answering!
Cesar Chelala
Beware of the Harm on Eyes Digital Devices Can Cause
Weekend Edition
February 5-7, 2016
Jeffrey St. Clair
When Chivalry Fails: St. Bernard and the Machine
Leonard Peltier
My 40 Years in Prison
John Pilger
Freeing Julian Assange: the Final Chapter
Garry Leech
Terrifying Ted and His Ultra-Conservative Vision for America
Andrew Levine
Smash Clintonism: Why Democrats, Not Republicans, are the Problem
William Blum
Is Bernie Sanders a “Socialist”?
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
We Can’t Afford These Billionaires
Enrique C. Ochoa
Super Bowl 50: American Inequality on Display
Jonathan Cook
The Liberal Hounding of Julian Assange: From Alex Gibney to The Guardian
George Wuerthner
How the Bundy Gang Won
Mike Whitney
Peace Talks “Paused” After Putin’s Triumph in Aleppo 
Ted Rall
Hillary Clinton: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Gary Leupp
Is a “Socialist” Really Unelectable? The Potential Significance of the Sanders Campaign
Vijay Prashad
The Fault Line of Race in America
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail