Heating Up and Cooling Down
Posted by hyperpat on September 1, 2006
Just finished Kim Stanley Robinson’s Fifty Degrees Below, book 2 in his current set centered around the effects of global warming. Not a great book, as I had a fair amount of trouble getting deeply involved with his main viewpoint character, but the scientific points he raises are certainly worth taking a look at. Not so much about whether global warming is happening (he takes that as a given), but just what the hell are we going to do about it? What strategies would work best to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases being produced and dumped into the atmosphere? Are there methods for taking things like CO2 and methane out of the atmosphere in signifcant quantities at bearable costs in terms of time, money, and resources? Could we just live with the increased temperature and not worry about it? What happens if the great Atlantic Ocean Current stops circulating (answer to this one is contained in the book title). All intriguing points, and he gives some good potential answers to these items.
But most significantly, he brings up the point that the scientific community is fractured, split into many, many organizations, study groups, universities, business ventures, and government agencies. Getting consensus on what to do and funding for these actions is almost impossible. Can we force our government to give greater priority to scientific proposals? Is there a way to organize, prioritize, and direct all the various research projects with a real end goal in mind?
Read your paper. Do some research of your own. Find out who your representatives in Congress are, and what their positions on things like this are. Vote. Change your own life style to be less intrusive on the planetary ecosphere. Else our children may not have a much a world to live in.