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

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 the current rate of warming suggests things will only get worse. So what can we do to mitigate global warming? What would be most effective? Can we stop and repair the damage to the climate that has been done?

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.
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It is too late to stop the effects of climate change

No matter how much we reduce emissions, there will be climate catastrophes, Therefore, we need to artificially alter the climate along with reducing emissions in order to prevent catastrophe.
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Proponents


The Argument

Greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise globally with no indication that they will begin to significantly decrease soon. The longer we emit greenhouse gasses, the higher the chances we will reach a point of no return, when even halting emissions won't be enough to prevent disasters. As that point in time nears, we may need geoengineering to prevent such major disasters. [1] Greenhouse gas emissions are on the rise, and we are already seeing natural disasters likely caused by climate change such as extreme droughts and forest fires. Furthermore, as the earth begins to warm from the gasses humans emit, positive feedback loops are also causing the planet to warm in ways we cannot really control. For instance, the melting tundras and glaciers release greenhouse gasses as they melt, causing the earth to heat up, causing them to melt faster and release more greenhouse gases. [2] We cannot stop those or fully anticipate how much of an effect such positive feedback loops will have. If we were able to halt our emissions we would still be facing the consequences of the carbon already in the atmosphere, and those of the positive feedback loops. While geoengineering is not a substitute for reducing emissions, it is a necessary component for preventing worse climate disasters than we are already experiencing.

Counter arguments

While the situation is dire, there is still time to reduce our emissions before we reach the point of no return, and many major nations have shown an interest in decreasing carbon emissions. Dedication to reducing carbon emissions may decrease if countries began to seriously see geoengineering as a way out of the consequences of climate change. Furthermore, geoengineering could have consequences, and by suddenly altering the carbon content in one part of the atmosphere, there may be severe weather in another part, making geoengineering a hazard we should not engage with while other solutions remain.

Premises

Rejecting the premises


References

  1. https://e360.yale.edu/features/geoengineer-the-planet-more-scientists-now-say-it-must-be-an-option
  2. https://www.cio.com/article/3516031/why-we-need-geoengineering-now.html

This page was last edited on Thursday, 10 Sep 2020 at 18:41 UTC

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