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, ePub, 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

Economic Development and Environmental History in the Anthropocene

Author: Gareth Austin
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1474267505
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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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.

Climate Change A Wicked Problem

Author: Frank P. Incropera
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1316419150
Format: PDF, Kindle
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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, 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, Docs
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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, ePub, Docs
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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
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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.

Bird on Fire

Author: Andrew Ross
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199912297
Format: PDF, ePub
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Phoenix, Arizona is one of America's fastest growing metropolitan regions. It is also its least sustainable one, sprawling over a thousand square miles, with a population of four and a half million, minimal rainfall, scorching heat, and an insatiable appetite for unrestrained growth and unrestricted property rights. In Bird on Fire, eminent social and cultural analyst Andrew Ross focuses on the prospects for sustainability in Phoenix--a city in the bull's eye of global warming--and also the obstacles that stand in the way. Most authors writing on sustainable cities look at places that have excellent public transit systems and relatively high density, such as Portland, Seattle, or New York. But Ross contends that if we can't change the game in fast-growing, low-density cities like Phoenix, the whole movement has a major problem. Drawing on interviews with 200 influential residents--from state legislators, urban planners, developers, and green business advocates to civil rights champions, energy lobbyists, solar entrepreneurs, and community activists--Ross argues that if Phoenix is ever to become sustainable, it will occur more through political and social change than through technological fixes. Ross explains how Arizona's increasingly xenophobic immigration laws, science-denying legislature, and growth-at-all-costs business ethic have perpetuated social injustice and environmental degradation. But he also highlights the positive changes happening in Phoenix, in particular the Gila River Indian Community's successful struggle to win back its water rights, potentially shifting resources away from new housing developments to producing healthy local food for the people of the Phoenix Basin. Ross argues that this victory may serve as a new model for how green democracy can work, redressing the claims of those who have been aggrieved in a way that creates long-term benefits for all. Bird on Fire offers a compelling take on one of the pressing issues of our time--finding pathways to sustainability at a time when governments are dismally failing in their responsibility to address climate change.

Global Warming

Author: Mark Maslin
Publisher: Voyageur Press (MN)
ISBN: 9780760329658
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Describes the evidence of global warming, its causes, its predicted impacts, and how its detrimental effects can be reduced.