Friday, February 23, 2007
Planetary engineering: Agony or thrill?
A journalist, Gwynne Dyer, published an essay earlier this month which sardonically proclaims: "Welcome to the job of planetary maintenance engineer." Dyer, who speaks to much of what we discussed today in the dingy library chamber, writes with an ominous tone; he confronts the challenge of geoengineering with mild dread. But why? Why not think of planetary engineering as something fun and interesting--something akin to an adventure? I don't suggest we should jump on the bunny trail and merrily start sequestering carbon out of the atmosphere like circus comedians clumsily pumping gas out of a burping helium balloon. But maybe we can think of it as a fun puzzle whose solving would mean a lot of learning and yet another validation of our ingenuity.