The Planet Remade:How Geoengineering Could Change the World by by Oliver Morton
A blurb from Amazon ...
Despite the on-going political horse-trading over emissions targets, each piece of new scientific research offers further evidence that no feasible reduction in the emissions can now effectively mitigate the carbon crisis. With limited time for action, an increasingly influential minority of climate scientists are exploring proposals for planned human intervention in the biosphere. A stratospheric veil against the sun; the cultivation of photosynthetic plankton; a fleet of unmanned ships seeding clouds: these are technologies from the radical fringes of climate study, and they are chilling, not least given the risk of hostile use. And yet, we're now at the point where we have no choice but to take them very seriously indeed.
The Planet Remade explores the science, history and politics behind these strategies. It looks at who might want to see geoengineering techniques used, and why — and why others would be dead set against any such attempts.
Throughout history, people have made huge changes to the planet — to the clouds and the soils, to the winds and the seas, to the great cycles of nitrogen and carbon — that are far more profound than often realized, and which can help us to fundamentally rethink our responses to global warming. With sensitivity, insight and expert science, Oliver Morton unpicks the moral implications of our responses to climate change, our fear that people have become a force of nature, and the potential for good in having such power.
The Planet Remade is about imagining a world where people take care instead of taking control.
From The Economist ...
Economist briefings editor Morton offers a calm, rational discussion of deliberate technological interventions to cool the planet’s climate system.
Once dismissed as the province of cranks, geoengineering approaches to climate change have gained new respectability. The first international academic conference on research in the field was held in Berlin in 2014, and both British and American science academies have issued reports. Even so, as the author writes, the notion of global climate interventions “still strikes many as truly wild.” Despite skepticism, a small coterie of top scientists, including Harvard physicist David Keith (A Case for Climate Engineering, 2013), continues to explore different strategies to offset warming, from cultivating photosynthetic plankton to spraying sulfates into the upper atmosphere to block sunlight. In a thoughtful, complex, and sometimes-technical overview of “the promise and attendant perils of deliberately modifying climate,” the author argues that this field “should be taken considerably more seriously.” Though it may not necessarily offer a solution, it can provide a way to reduce harm from climate change. For instance, technology could be used to slow warming while better methods are developed to mitigate carbon emissions. Mindful that the risks are not wellunderstood, Morton describes the science behind the various climate interventions now being studied, including one physicist’s work on machines capable of sucking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. He covers the history of climate interventions notably, volcanic eruptions spewing ash and dust into the atmosphere—concerns over possible harms (such as human engineering replacing “the authentic world with a fake one”), and the danger that even talking about technological interventions will lead to less climate mitigation.
This book is an important account of cutting-edge research that will fascinate serious readers and demand the attention of policymakers.
Geoengineering is the artificial modification of Earth’s climate systems through two primary methodologies: Solar Radiation Management (SRM) and Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR)