Dear Sen. Harry Reid,
By derailing or delaying — or whatever it is you’re doing to — the introduction of a climate bill in the U.S. Senate, you have once again raised the question about whether the richest, most technologically sophisticated nation that has ever lived is capable of taking swift action to save itself from almost certain environmental and economic calamity. In other words, despite millions of years of evolution, when it comes to thinking about the future, we’re still as dumb as bugs.
As I’m sure you know, I just published a new book about geoengineering called How to Cool the Planet: Geoengineering and the Audacious Quest to Fix Earth’s Climate. Geoengineering, a term that scientists define as the deliberate, intentional modification of the earth’s climate system to reduce the risks of global warming, is a dangerous and controversial idea. It involves things like spraying sulfur particles into the stratosphere and brightening clouds to reflect away sunlight and cool the earth.
These and other geoengineering ideas (there are lots more) are likely to have serious unintended consequences — and they ... Read more