Geo-Engineering

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Geo-Engineering

Overview

Climate change is a highly sensitive issue that has drawn supporters and opposers alike. The article highlights the need for reduction of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere as a pertinent approach to implementing geo-engineering principles. As a measure of reducing the amount of solar radiation destined for Earth, the author identifies the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMECHE) as providing viable solution as to this global problem. For instance, the increase of albedo surfaces in urban centers aimed at reducing such temperatures to below 2 degrees Celsius, the growth of algae in tubes besides buildings for absorption of carbon dioxide by photosynthesis and the planting of “artificial” trees for capturing such emissions are possible interventions raised by the publication (Ecologist 1). It is however evident that the writer has some reservations about the flexibility to prolong such tactics because the transition period may herald an escalation of global temperatures. In the production of the Royal Society’s report, The Ecologist cited by the author identifies advancement in technology as the viable route to dealing with this problem. The release of sulphur dioxide particles into the atmosphere to scatter radiation as well as the use of remote ships for vaporizing seawater thereby blocking sunlight are other geo-engineering techniques proposed by the writer as well.

Pros

Geo-engineering increases plant productivity due to the high rate of photosynthesis. In fact, the high volume of flora would enrich the soil thereby increasing the ingredients needed to sustain plant life. It would also enhance yield production in plants due to the appropriate use of solar radiation hence making faster and easier access to foodstuffs for humans and animals as well. The interventions mentioned above would also reduce sea ice melting thereby lowering the risks to marine life. Sea ice is essential in the ecosystem as it balances the symbiotic relationship between plants and animals. As such, by reducing its melting, the sea level rise would also be lowered and that would lead to plummeting of the risks to humanity (Robock, Marquardt, Kravitz, and Stenchikov 6). While such measures may not eliminate carbon dioxide concentration, it would increase terrestrial carbon dioxide sinking on the planet. Simultaneously, the planet would become cooler thus environmentally friendly to the inhabitants. Land ice sheet melting would be lowered as well.

Cons

Solar power generation would decline upon integration of such mechanisms while an increase in drought especially in Africa would occur. Inconsistency in these efforts may lead to rapid global warming thus placing human, plant, and marine life in greater danger too. Unexpected consequences may also arise since such measures are not foolproof. It would also be costly because such technologies are expensive to pursue hence may cause regional conflicts especially in areas with stringent treaties. Notably, some nations may divert the technology for military use against their enemies, causing further damage to the environment while the risk of human error also lingers as well. The depletion of the ozone layer is another risk that would plunge humanity into destruction, as the thinning of the protective cover would increase their exposure to the harmful rays of the sun. Unknown environmental impacts may arise upon implementation too while there may be limited commercial control of these measures thereby facilitating unwanted competition among companies, regions and people. It is also possible that such interventions will not stop the effects of global warming quickly hence need more time within which other hazards could arise too.

Reactions

The intentions generated by the prospect of geo-engineering are noble and meant to improve the livelihoods of both animals and plants. It is however important that people proceed with caution because these scientific findings are not conclusive as to the consequences of such actions. Whilst the availability of money for implementation is not a problem especially for developed countries, it would not be wise to invest in technologies that may be abandoned midway. It would also be unwise to use artificial means that may lead to the release of more chemicals into the atmosphere. As much as the climate change problem is real and increasing at an alarming rate, it would be imperative that any mitigation measures be environmentally sustainable and have predictable results in order to preserve human life. The rate of civilization or modernity is not even in all countries hence the technological gaps prevalent may hinder the elimination of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Whereas most countries have adopted intervention measures to reduce the rate of carbon emissions, Africa plays a huge role in this endeavor (Ecologist 2). The continent thus needs aid for developing vital infrastructure before transitioning to geo-engineering although the skeptical attitude of some nations that deride its pace of growth would also stall such efforts.

Reply to Question

An economy that is reliant on environmentally friendly policies is stable because such techniques are sustainable in the long-term.

Justification

Ecological investments require lower maintenance costs thereby freeing more capital for development projects. Such energy sources are derived from natural components whose longer lifespan would guarantee minimal operation costs. Fewer waste products would result form such policies thereby saving such an economy the burden of clearing this mess. It would also ensure that people have a higher quality of life due to the minimal pollution within the atmosphere. As such, less heath effects as well as damage to the environment would be experienced thereby channeling more money to vital sectors that serve the inhabitants directly. The fact that ecological products will never be exhausted provides such an economy the assurance of long-term growth and the ability to improve current socioeconomic challenges. It also avoids the depletion of natural resources hence increasing sources of revenue as well. The steady pricing associated with this phenomenon would also help in the making of accurate budgetary provisions thereby avoiding unnecessary expenditures and by s doing limiting the amount of public debt. Greater employment opportunities would also arise thus enhancing the productivity of the country’s labor force while increasing the level of GDP growth (Robock, Marquardt, Kravitz, and Stenchikov 4). The revenue generated from taxation of such measures is suitable for use in other public service sectors especially in rural areas hence contributing to the homogeneous growth of the economy too. Such an economy is also more reliable since the interventions are dependable. Harmful by products released by such methods are fewer thus allowing the economy to experience consistency in its trajectory. As such, more investments are viable under these circumstances. An addition of funds in such a system helps to regulate the rate of inflation while raising the fundamental pillars of the economy too. It is therefore evident that basing an economy on ecological tools serves to improve its vital growth indicators while strengthening the environment by lowering the rate of emission of pollutants into the atmosphere.

 

Works Cited

Ecologist. Geo-Engineering: Climate Solution or Dangerous Distraction? September 1, 2009. Print.

Robock, Alan, Marquardt, Allison, Kravitz, Ben and Stenchikov, Georgiy. Benefits, risks, and Costs of Stratospheric Geo-engineering. Geophysical Research Letters, 36(2009): 1-9. Print.

 

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