Jul 21 2021
From clearing land for pasture to building dams, humans have long changed the face of the Earth. We are tool users and problem solvers by nature. But what happens when solving one problem — the need for cheap energy, for example — creates another? Pumping carbon into the skies has led to climate chaos; should we now apply more technology to try to get out of the mess we created? Stopping the burning of fossil fuels is imperative if we are to prevent the worst effects of climate change, but it may not be enough. One proposed emergency solution is geoengineering — man-made ways to cool the planet. Physicist, ecologist, and activist Vandana Shiva argues that geoengineering is the ultimate hubris, without democratic control. “Geoengineering is an experiment, not a solution.” But when our house is burning down, does it really make sense to take some options for stopping the conflagration off the table? What if lower-tech solutions like regenerative agriculture aren’t enough?