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Author Topic: Is Geoengineering safe?  (Read 3752 times)

Offline Scottebright

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Is Geoengineering safe?
« on: 27/03/2013 04:38:59 »
As the realities of global climate change become ever more alarming, advocates of technological approaches to "geoengineer" the planet's climate are gaining a following.

But the technologies that are promoted -- from spraying sulphate particles into the stratosphere, to dumping iron particles into the ocean, to stimulate carbon absorbing plankton, to burning millions of trees and burying the char in soils -- are all fraught with clear and obvious risks, and are most likely only going to make matters worse.

The connection between the tar sands industry and geoengineering advocates is perhaps not immediately obvious, but it makes perfect, ugly sense. Tar sands investors and their allies have long realized that geoengineering could provide them an extended lease on life -- and a convenient means to avoid the shuttering of their industry, which many consider the single most destructive and climat -- damaging form of energy extraction.

Hence, it isn't surprising that tar sands magnate Murray Edwards, director of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd, actually fact funds a geoengineering company that works on techniques for capturing CO2 from the air called Carbon Engineering.

Carbon Engineering's president, David Keith, is one of the most vocal and best funded advocates of geoengineering. Carbon Dioxide air capture is often viewed as benign or "soft" geoengineering. After all, what could possibly be wrong with removing carbon dioxide from the overloaded atmosphere?

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« Last Edit: 27/03/2013 08:31:46 by evan_au »


 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Is Geoengineering safe?
« Reply #1 on: 28/03/2013 06:47:29 »
I'm not sure about the conspiracy theory ideas with parties having conflicts of interest. although those in the petroleum industry would necessarily be concerned with the longterm impact of their industry to both the environment as well as the political interpretation of it.

As far as "geoengineering cold", many of the ideas are downright scary, amount to little more than short-term band-aids, have significant potential for side-effects such as acid rain, and are often energy intensive themselves.  Or, in some cases require more destruction of natural resources.

Personally, I think we should also only choose reversible solutions as the CO2 could become a valuable future resource.
 

Offline peppercorn

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Re: Is Geoengineering safe?
« Reply #2 on: 28/03/2013 12:29:59 »
I can sort of see the argument that a course that includes 'geoengineering' is one that helps validate the aims of the 'business as usual' brigade.  At the same time governments and global agreements are showing no real sign of waking up to make a concerted effort to hit even the watered-down targets already set So should we at least prepare a contingency plan? ...Yes, probably!

It's a bit like the arguments for and against using wood to replace coal (or co-fire with coal in power stations, more specifically). It might be a good, low cost strategy to cut-out carbon intensive coal burning, but if the wood used is not grown as part of a sustainable cycle (capturing carbon as fast as it is consumed) of agro-scale coppicing then the short-term climate effects could actually be worse than the coal it replaces.
...This invokes an opposite effect to the 'band-aid' of geoengineering. Eventually the use of enormous 'tree-farms' could, if correctly managed (from a full 'embodied carbon' analysis point of view), be an effective way to cancel much of the impact of 'burning stuff' to make electricity, etc; but it will probably be too late to help us now.

So, if a raft of 'band-aid' solutions look a likely way to get some breathing space prior to true catastrophic climate runaway, then perhaps we need to at least start proof-of-concept experiments now!
 

Offline yor_on

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Re: Is Geoengineering safe?
« Reply #3 on: 04/04/2013 00:41:03 »
I lean to Scotte's view here. Geo engineering is Jules Verne. We're not in a book, as far as I know? Even if we could do it, which we can't, by so many reasons (just consider the UN:s constant failures in getting something done, that doesn't involve some immediate profit for countries involved) it would most probably result in some ecological, biological, catastrophe. And so it would backfire. What we can do is to stop producing CO2 and go to alternative sources of energy, and if that also means nuclear? Not to happy with that from many reasons, centralization for one, and radioactive waste for another, but if we have no choice we could always test those molten sands reactors, and see? But only when we run out of local options.
 

Offline tkadm30

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Re: Is Geoengineering safe?
« Reply #4 on: 09/03/2016 12:20:12 »
I lean to Scotte's view here. Geo engineering is Jules Verne. We're not in a book, as far as I know? Even if we could do it, which we can't, by so many reasons (just consider the UN:s constant failures in getting something done, that doesn't involve some immediate profit for countries involved) it would most probably result in some ecological, biological, catastrophe.


Solar geoengineering is not new. In Canada we can observe chemtrails operations on a daily basis. The election of a new government didn't changed anything. I do think however that the injections of nanoparticles in the stratosphere is likely contributing to the systematic destruction of fragile ecosystems in North America, creating floods, droughts, hurricanes, etc. Geoengineering is an evidence that the sovereignty of Canada in defending the interests of its own citizens is under control by a few corporations racing to establish the new world order.
« Last Edit: 09/03/2016 12:48:00 by tkadm30 »
 

Offline Ophiolite

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Re: Is Geoengineering safe?
« Reply #5 on: 09/03/2016 16:03:03 »
After all, what could possibly be wrong with removing carbon dioxide from the overloaded atmosphere?
You imply that there is something wrong with this, yet your principle objection is not to the process, but the individuals and corporations investigating/proposing the process.

So, what do you think is wrong with the idea itself?
 

Offline tkadm30

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Re: Is Geoengineering safe?
« Reply #6 on: 20/04/2016 11:39:35 »
Quote from: Ophiolite
So, what do you think is wrong with the idea itself?

- The dumping of coal fly ash particulates in the atmosphere may be toxic to humans.
- Sulfate aerosols contributes to acid rain precipitation.
- Geoengineering destroys the ozone layer.
- etc...
 

Offline Tim the Plumber

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Re: Is Geoengineering safe?
« Reply #7 on: 21/04/2016 20:05:38 »
Why allow a science forum to be a platform for the mad?

This encorages people such as this to think they are actually debating science.
 

Offline tkadm30

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Re: Is Geoengineering safe?
« Reply #8 on: 21/04/2016 21:43:13 »
Why allow a science forum to be a platform for the mad?

This encorages people such as this to think they are actually debating science.


So according to you, to debate science one should be in favor of all your opinions? I'm happy you call me names if that is motivating you in your trolling and disrespect for proper scientific discussion...
 

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Re: Is Geoengineering safe?
« Reply #8 on: 21/04/2016 21:43:13 »

 

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