Hack the Planet

Author: Eli Kintisch
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9780470618714
Format: PDF, ePub
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An inside tour of the incredible—and probably dangerous—plans to counteract the effects of climate change through experiments that range from the plausible to the fantastic David Battisti had arrived in Cambridge expecting a bloodbath. So had many of the other scientists who had joined him for an invitation-only workshop on climate science in 2007, with geoengineering at the top of the agenda. We can't take deliberately altering the atmosphere seriously, he thought, because there’s no way we'll ever know enough to control it. But by the second day, with bad climate news piling on bad climate news, he was having second thoughts. When the scientists voted in a straw poll on whether to support geoengineering research, Battisti, filled with fear about the future, voted in favor. While the pernicious effects of global warming are clear, efforts to reduce the carbon emissions that cause it have fallen far short of what’s needed. Some scientists have started exploring more direct and radical ways to cool the planet, such as: Pouring reflective pollution into the upper atmosphere Making clouds brighter Growing enormous blooms of algae in the ocean Schemes that were science fiction just a few years ago have become earnest plans being studied by alarmed scientists, determined to avoid a climate catastrophe. In Hack the Planet, Science magazine reporter Eli Kintisch looks more closely at this array of ideas and characters, asking if these risky schemes will work, and just how geoengineering is changing the world. Scientists are developing geoengineering techniques for worst-case scenarios. But what would those desperate times look like? Kintisch outlines four circumstances: collapsing ice sheets, megadroughts, a catastrophic methane release, and slowing of the global ocean conveyor belt. As incredible and outlandish as many of these plans may seem, could they soon become our only hope for avoiding calamity? Or will the plans of brilliant and well-intentioned scientists cause unforeseeable disasters as they play out in the real world? And does the advent of geoengineering mean that humanity has failed in its role as steward of the planet—or taken on a new responsibility? Kintisch lays out the possibilities and dangers of geoengineering in a time of planetary tipping points. His investigation is required reading as the debate over global warming shifts to whether humanity should Hack the Planet.

How to Cool the Planet

Author: Jeff Goodell
Publisher: HMH
ISBN: 0547487134
Format: PDF, Docs
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“Thoughtful, informative, and darkly entertaining. It’s the best treatment of this important (and scary) topic you can find.” —Elizabeth Kolbert Right now, a group of scientists is working on ways to minimize the catastrophic impact of global warming. But they’re not designing hybrids or fuel cells or wind turbines. They’re trying to lower the temperature of the entire planet. And they’re doing it with huge contraptions that suck CO2 from the air, machines that brighten clouds and deflect sunlight away from the earth, even artificial volcanoes that spray heat-reflecting particles into the atmosphere. This is the radical and controversial world of geoengineering, which only five years ago was considered to be “fringe.” But as Jeff Goodell points out, the economic crisis, combined with global political realities, is making these ideas look sane, even inspired. Goodell himself started out as a skeptic, concerned about tinkering with the planet’s thermostat. We can’t even predict next week’s weather, so how are we going to change the temperature of whole regions? What if a wealthy entrepreneur shoots particles into the stratosphere on his own? Who gets blamed if something goes terribly wrong? And perhaps most disturbing, what about wars waged with climate control as the primary weapon? There are certainly risks, but Goodell believes the alternatives could be worse. In the end, he persuades us that geoengineering may just be our last best hope—a Plan B for the environment. His compelling tale of scientific hubris and technical daring is sure to jump-start the next big debate about the future of life on earth. “Goodell explores with infectious curiosity and thoughtful narration this strange, promising, and untested suite of climate fixes.” —BusinessWeek “A quick, enjoyable read through a complex, timely topic. And after you read it, you’ll never look at the sky or the ocean—or Earth, really—in quite the same way again.” —The Christian Science Monitor

Fixing the Sky

Author: James Rodger Fleming
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 023114413X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Weaving together stories from elite science, cutting-edge technology, and popular culture, Fleming examines issues of health and navigation in the 1830s, drought in the 1890s, aircraft safety in the 1930s, and world conflict since the 1940s.

Economic Development and Environmental History in the Anthropocene

Author: Gareth Austin
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1474267505
Format: PDF, ePub
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For the populations of the developing economies – the vast majority of humanity – the present century offers the prospect of emulating Western standards of living. This hope is combined with increasing awareness of the environmental consequences of the very process of global industrialisation itself. This book explores the interactions between economic development and the physical environment in four regions of the developing world: Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia. The contributors focus on the 'Anthropocene': our present era, in which humanity's influence on the physical environment has begun to mark the geological record. Economic Development and Environmental History in the Anthropocene examines environmental changes at global level and human responses to environmental opportunities and constraints on more local and regional scales, themes which have been insufficiently studied to date. This volume fills this gap in the literature by combining historical, economic and geographical perspectives to consider the implications of the Anthropocene for economic development in Asia and Africa.

Sustainability Management

Author: Steven Cohen
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231526371
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Can we grow our world economy and create opportunities for the poor while keeping the planet intact? Can we maintain our vibrant, dynamic lifestyles while ensuring the Earth stays productive and viable? Aimed at managers, students, scholars, and policymakers, Sustainability Management answers these questions in the affirmative, arguing it is possible for environmentally sustainable business practices and policies to foster economic and long-term growth. Written by a former analyst and consultant with the EPA, this book originally combines sustainable efforts in water, agriculture, urban, and power management to achieve in practice, not just in theory a sustainable planet and economy. Steven Cohen begins with the technical, financial, managerial, and political challenges of such a project, and then honestly assesses sustainable practices in the manufacturing and service industries. He addresses renewable and carbon-free energy production; water sustainability, especially with regard to energy issues involving filtration, distribution, and changing rainfall patterns; food cultivation and distribution; and ways to maintain the interdependent systems on which we depend to live. Taking examples from New York City, one of the most sustainable and sustainability-minded metropolises in the world, Cohen explains how everything from construction to waste management can be designed to facilitate a sustainable environment, not just for New York but also for the world. He concludes with this macroscopic view, outlining the global efforts necessary to preserve biodiversity and ecosystems, and the impact of war, terrorism, and human conflict on sustainability.

Climate Change A Wicked Problem

Author: Frank P. Incropera
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1316419150
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Under one cover, Frank P. Incropera provides a comprehensive, objective and critical assessment of all issues germane to the climate change debate: science, technology options, economic ramifications, cultural and behavioural issues, the influence of special interests and public policy, geopolitics and ethical dimensions. The underlying science is treated in depth, but in an approachable and accessible manner. A strong case is made for the reality of anthropogenic climate change, while confronting the range of issues that remain uncertain and deconstructing opposing views. Incropera assesses the strengths and weaknesses of technology options for mitigating the effects of climate change, analyzes nontechnical factors - economic, cultural and political - and provides an in-depth treatment of ethical implications. This book is intended for those wishing to become fully informed about climate change and is designed to provide the reader with a firm foundation for drawing his or her own conclusions.

Experiment Earth

Author: Jack Stilgoe
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317909135
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Experiments in geoengineering – intentionally manipulating the Earth’s climate to reduce global warming – have become the focus of a vital debate about responsible science and innovation. Drawing on three years of sociological research working with scientists on?one of the world’s first major geoengineering projects, this?book examines the politics of experimentation. Geoengineering provides a test case for rethinking the responsibilities of scientists and asking how science can take better care of the futures that it helps bring about. This book gives students, researchers and the general reader interested in the place of science in contemporary society a compelling framework for future thinking and discussion.

Can Science Fix Climate Change

Author: Mike Hulme
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 0745685269
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Climate change seems to be an insurmountable problem. Political solutions have so far had little impact. Some scientists are now advocating the so-called ‘Plan B’, a more direct way of reducing the rate of future warming by reflecting more sunlight back to space, creating a thermostat in the sky. In this book, Mike Hulme argues against this kind of hubristic techno-fix. Drawing upon a distinguished career studying the science, politics and ethics of climate change, he shows why using science to fix the global climate is undesirable, ungovernable and unattainable. Science and technology should instead serve the more pragmatic goals of increasing societal resilience to weather risks, improving regional air quality and driving forward an energy technology transition. Seeking to reset the planet’s thermostat is not the answer. Climate change seems to be an insurmountable problem. Political solutions have so far had little impact. Some scientists are now advocating the so-called ‘Plan B’, a more direct way of reducing the rate of future warming by reflecting more sunlight back to space, creating a thermostat in the sky. In this book, Mike Hulme argues against this kind of hubristic techno-fix. Drawing upon a distinguished career studying the science, politics and ethics of climate change, he shows why using science to fix the global climate is undesirable, ungovernable and unattainable. Science and technology should instead serve the more pragmatic goals of increasing societal resilience to weather risks, improving regional air quality and driving forward an energy technology transition. Seeking to reset the planet’s thermostat is not the answer.

Climate Change Geoengineering

Author: Wil C. G. Burns
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107276586
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The international community is not taking the action necessary to avert dangerous increases in greenhouse gases. Facing a potentially bleak future, the question that confronts humanity is whether the best of bad alternatives may be to counter global warming through human-engineered climate interventions. In this book, eleven prominent authorities on climate change consider the legal, policy and philosophical issues presented by geoengineering. The book asks: when, if ever, are decisions to embark on potentially risky climate modification projects justified? If such decisions can be justified, in a world without a central governing authority, who should authorize such projects and by what moral and legal right? If states or private actors undertake geoengineering ventures absent the blessing of the international community, what recourse do the rest of us have?

The Planet Remade

Author: Oliver Morton
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400874459
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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The risks of global warming are pressing and potentially vast. The difficulty of doing without fossil fuels is daunting, possibly even insurmountable. So there is an urgent need to rethink our responses to the crisis. To meet that need, a small but increasingly influential group of scientists is exploring proposals for planned human intervention in the climate system: a stratospheric veil against the sun, the cultivation of photosynthetic plankton, fleets of unmanned ships seeding the clouds. These are the technologies of geoengineering—and as Oliver Morton argues in this visionary book, it would be as irresponsible to ignore them as it would be foolish to see them as a simple solution to the problem. The Planet Remade explores the history, politics, and cutting-edge science of geoengineering. Morton weighs both the promise and perils of these controversial strategies and puts them in the broadest possible context. The past century’s changes to the planet—to the clouds and the soils, to the winds and the seas, to the great cycles of nitrogen and carbon—have been far more profound than most of us realize. Appreciating those changes clarifies not just the scale of what needs to be done about global warming, but also our relationship to nature. Climate change is not just one of the twenty-first century’s defining political challenges. Morton untangles the implications of our failure to meet the challenge of climate change and reintroduces the hope that we might. He addresses the deep fear that comes with seeing humans as a force of nature, and asks what it might mean—and what it might require of us—to try and use that force for good.