Cooling the Earth (Maybe)
June 29th, 2006

In the 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s there was plenty of Science Fiction about ways to Geo-Engineer a planet’s climate (ie: Red Mars Trilogy), Asimov and Lem.

Now, Science is looking at those ideas for ways to tackle Global Warming on Earth, according to an article in The New York Times.

“………..The plans and proposed studies are part of a controversial field known as geoengineering, which means rearranging the earth’s environment on a large scale to suit human needs and promote habitability. Dr. Cicerone, an atmospheric chemist, will detail his arguments in favor of geoengineering studies in the August issue of the journal Climatic Change.

Practicing what he preaches, Dr. Cicerone is also encouraging leading scientists to join the geoengineering fray. In April, at his invitation, Roger P. Angel, a noted astronomer at the University of Arizona, spoke at the academy’s annual meeting. Dr. Angel outlined a plan to put into orbit small lenses that would bend sunlight away from earth — trillions of lenses, he now calculates, each about two feet wide, extraordinarily thin and weighing little more than a butterfly.”

“……Many scientists still deride geoengineering as an irresponsible dream with more risks and potential bad side effects than benefits; they call its extreme remedies a good reason to redouble efforts at reducing heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide. And skeptics of human-induced global warming dismiss geoengineering as a costly effort to battle a mirage.”

I think we do need to do something to protect the planet we live on and I’m glad science is considering some of the ideas of science fiction writers as it might provide part of a solution to problem of global warming.


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