Geo-Engineering Science: Won’t Work and Risky
EcoInternet's recent protest against large-scale alteration of oceans to capture carbon left off an important point: it doesn't work, as the amount of carbon actually removed long-term is minuscule [ark]. Geo-engineering [search] — whereby mad scientists intend to engineer an atmosphere and other ecosystem services provided dependably for free for millennia by an operable biosphere — is much in the news this past week. This is at least partly because of EcoInternet's Earth Action Network's massive protest (411,471 protest emails sent) against an illegal large-scale German and Indian ocean fertilization experiment (there is a UN moratorium for such activities on the high seas), and our extensive outreach to global media highlighting “oceans are not carbon dumps and a biosphere cannot be engineered”.
Though the geo-engineering experiment has commenced and large amounts of iron have been dumped, the protest was successful in raising awareness of the outlandish and risky plans to try to redesign or augment the already perfectly designed Earth System. A line has been drawn in the sand — those seeking to experiment upon our shared biosphere without international consensus will face massive people protests and ultimately will be stopped. If these outrageous schemes must be researched, they can be done by studying natural processes — not widespread and illegal manipulations of the Earth commons. And large-scale geo-engineering implementation — whether experimental or commercial — upon our shared Earth requires unanimous UN approval.
Desperate and risky planetary manipulations will not save the climate or the Earth, only intensive and methodical transformation of ourselves and our society can do that. Geo-engineering a biosphere won't work, is prohibitively costly and complex, and almost certainly will cause more damage than good. Now let's get on with dramatically and immediately reducing emissions.