argument top image

What should we do about climate change? Show more Show less
Back to question

We are in a climate crisis. People and natural systems around the world are feeling the impacts of a warming globe, from more intense heat waves, more intense storms, heavier rainfall, melting sea ice and retreating glaciers, etc, etc. No part of our world is left untouched, and given the current rate of warming, things will only get worse. So what can we do to mitigate global warming?

We need to artificially reshape the climate system to survive Show more Show less

Current technologies can't be implemented fast enough. We need to explore radical artificial reshaping of the climate system through geo-engineering.
< (5 of 5)

Humans won't change their behaviors

Despite climate change awareness, people have not dramatically altered their behaviors, and are unlikely to do so. Instead of expecting people to change their behavior, we need to act to mitigate the effects of climate change by artificially reshaping the climate.

The Argument

Though people and governments have known about the negative consequences of climate change for decades, they seem to have been reluctant to significantly alter their behaviors in ways that will avert climate catastrophes. Because of that, it is unrealistic to assume that people will alter their behaviors quickly enough and dramatically enough to avert catastrophe. Therefore, we need to invest in geoengineering, which would allow us the time to reduce carbon emissions at a more measured and reasonable pace. Though countries have signed agreements on climate change, such as the Paris Climate Accord, global emissions are still on the rise.[1] Significantly decreasing our emissions would require massive lifestyle changes, ranging from how we travel around a city, to the food we eat, and how we power our homes. It is simply not feasible to expect people to enact those changes in time, especially when considering global trends. Geoengineering would buy us a few decades at a reasonably inexpensive cost, which would allow a slower and more reasonably paced transition to clean energy. [2]

Counter arguments

Geoengineering solutions provide people with an easy way out of climate change, so they could ultimately be detrimental to the goal of reducing carbon emissions and changing lifestyles. People are already slow to alter their behaviors in ways that could reduce the effects of climate change, and they are not alarmed about the potential consequences of climate change. Introducing geoengineering as a way to solve climate change would reduce the incentive to alter behavior, which is what really needs to happen to solve climate change.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2019/09/10/solar-geoengineering-we-better-do-it-or-well-burn/#5146b5df18ad
  2. https://www.dezeen.com/2018/10/18/five-geoengineering-solutions-climate-change-un-ipcc-technology/#:~:text=There%20are%20currently%20two%20main,think%20carbon%20capture%20and%20storage.
This page was last edited on Friday, 24 Jul 2020 at 09:22 UTC

Explore related arguments