The challenge of climate change and its warrior activists have asked many things of us -- changing to energy-efficient lightbulbs, biking to work, flying less, turning off the lights more often, and more -- but even with the most severe treatment for the global threat, a new report from the Proceedings from the National Acadmey of Sciences of the United States of America says that repairing the damage will prove extremely difficult and non-cost-effective.
Severe treatment would mean injecting "sulphur dioxode particles equivalent to a major volcanic eruption, such as that of Mt Pinatubo, every 18 months to reduce temperatures and delay ice-cap melt and sea-level rises," The Ecologist reports. Other options include installing mirrors in space and afforestation. All of the above fall under the category of "geoengineering."
Geoengineering approaches are risky and raise several questions about what effects they will have on the planet, leading many scientists and policy-makers to shy away from their use. But without taking those risks, we are forced to innovate with the approaches we do know are safe. They may be more mundane, but at least there's no "injections" involved.
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