Wednesday, 29 April 2009


Today a very good article was published in the Guardian newspaper on this most emotive of subjects.

The Climate Engineers - John Shepherd

Personally I'm not a big fan of the idea of geoengineering. A lot of the ideas being bounced around (such as carbon sequestration) are short term fixes to what is clearly a long term problem. Equally, a lot of these methods are likely to have side effects that we don't fully understand, since the vast majority of them involve manipulating extremely complex ecosystems (e.g., ocean fertilization). If there is one thing we really have to learn is that we cannot mess with existing ecologies and expect to get away with it scot free. For example, look at the way Austalia and New Zealand have been forever changed by the introduction of European species by western settlers.

Although John's article does not go into the particulars of the subject, it is encouraging to know that the Royal Society has decided to do something about this. It is also encouraging to hear that John will be chairing the committee. Although I cannot claim to know him well, our paths have crossed several times and he has always come across as an extremely clever and very level headed. Just what the doctor ordered!

1 comment:

Rama said...

It's one of those 'sexy' ideas floating about currently. Hopefully it'll pass before we screw something else up....