Solving Global Climate Change Through Geoengineering Solutions And Technology

In history, geoengineering or the large scale modification of environment has usually led to global warming and climate change. However, this same tool, if used properly, can also become an effective tool in our struggle with climate change and its disastrous consequences.
Solving Global Climate Change through Geoengineering Solutions and Technology
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As the human civilization grapples with the imminent disasters of global climate change and its horrifying consequences, there is a need to look beyond usual solutions. One such possibility may lie in using the Geoengineering technology and bringing it to markets by government policies that create necessary incentives for that to happen....


Drastic situations call for drastic measures.

Having brought our environment to the brink of disaster, we now need to find ways and means to undo the damage. It is something that has till now been in the realm of fiction and fantasy, but now, we need to make it

a reality. Geoengineering offers solutions that are sometimes portrayed as our best bet reverse global climate changes.

Geoengineering: An Introduction

GEOENGINEERING is the modification of Earth's environment on a large scale, brought about by deliberate human effort "to suit human needs and promote habitability". It is also defined at times as modifying mineral stores hydrology of the Earth

It is a subject that gives rise to maximum curiosity especially when we talk about it with reference to global climate changes and its possible consequences.

Geoengineering : Purpose & Potential

In the given technological advances available in this field, there appear few possible uses of this science in controlling climate changes. Yet, in my opinion, geoengineering has the potential of bringing changes in the parts of the world where they matter most - around the largest glaciers of the world - the two poles, the major mountain chains and peaks - and some of the other frozen water masses. It is the warming in these areas that is actually posing the maximum danger to future of human civilization, and by minimizing the impacts in these areas, a lot of damage could be prevented.

Other Ways of Solving Global Climate Change Challenge

However, it would be fair to say that in the given circumstances, the answers to the dilemma of global warming will have to be found elsewhere, and the solutions to our problems may be simpler than geoengineering.

I am particularly optimistic about two possibilities.

First is the impact of rising cost of fuels, specially oil. It will have a lot of spiraling effect on the speed of technological development in several fields, like bio-fuel, nuclear energy, proton pump engines and solar energy generation. What these changes will do is to shift the demand of fossil fuels downwards because of their higher prices, but the real impact will come only when a sustainable substitute is found. These alternate fuels have the potential of substituting fossil fuels, but how much is the progress actually will depend upon the demand and supply of fuels and their cost.

Second is the simple law of physics - energy can be neither destroyed, nor created. Earth is receiving all its energy from the Sun, and the problem is arising because of the green house effect created by carbon spreading out excessively in the environment

in the form of green house gases, which trap solar energy and prevent it from escaping to the outer space. So the solution has to be in the form of carbon sequestration, which places this carbon back into where it came from - beneath the ground. The only ways it can be done is by preventing usage of fossil fuel, trapping the carbon in the air by photosynthesis, and using the already available solar energy for our daily needs.

The Solutions for Global Climate Changes

This basically means a three pronged strategy.

(i) First is to make fossil fuel usage as expensive as possible. Without this step nothing else will happen, because this only can create sufficient incentives for the market to take other steps. How it can be done is a matter of debate. The options include taxes and marketable emission rights.

(ii) Second is to indulge in massive afforestation throughout the globe. For this, the whole human community will need to join hands, and share the best technology available to make sure that it happens. Interestingly, afforestation will happen only if two basic factors preventing it are effectively taken care of - food production, and structured urbanization. Thus concentrating on improving food production and developing orderly cities with market forces at work will actually help mitigate the climate change.

(iii) Third, the solar energy needs to be brought in the domain of market forces. This will require some major technological break-through - the most likely is the conversion of solar energy into splitting of water to create hydrogen which can be stored and used as an alternate fuel. If this can be done by means of small units that only need sunlight, the vast majority of human population, especially in underprivileged areas of this planet with adequate sunlight, will enter the market as producers of hydrogen fuel, and such decentralized production is the only way to trap solar energy in a cost effective manner to make it viable as a substitute to fossil fuels.

Solution lies in Technology, Market and Taxes

One needs to note that technology may provide us other solutions, but we will need to ensure something - the market must have enough incentives to innovate - only then it would play a role. Taxes on carbon will be the first step, irrespective of whatever else may happen. Markets only push the technology that will prevent us from the impending disasters.
 



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