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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Tinkering with the atmosphere or the oceans on the scale required to do this would be highly risky and extraordinarily complex. But the alternative, getting the world’s population to give up fossil fuels, is proving exceedingly hard. Geo-engineering, as it has come to be known, may be a way of buying time for the transition to a low-carbon economy to take place in an orderly manner.

In the past, geo-engineering was taboo because many felt that the very possibility of fiddling with the climate would create an excuse to avoid the hard choices a low-carbon economy would impose. However, the feeling is now growing that if politicians came to scientists for advice on the matter, it would be a good idea for them to have some to offer. To that end, the Royal Society, Britain’s oldest scientific academy, has published a series of papers in its Philosophical Transactions outlining some of the options, and suggesting a few experiments to test whether they would work.
Geo-engineering: the diet pills of ecology. If you want to keep the weight off and stay healthy, you've got to work hard, you've got to exercise, and you've got to go on a diet. Via Ezra Klein.