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GeoEngineering: A Lobotomy for the Earth?

EcoGeek believes in the power of technology. We're optimists...full of hope in a field that was once hopeless. I honestly think we have a chance of feeding 10 billion people in 2050 without completely destroying the planet. It's not going to be easy, but it is possible.

But there are some technological solutions that simply scare my pants off. Geoengineering, the idea that we are smart enough to put the natural systems of the earth under human control, is one of those ideas.

With the possible exception of the human mind, the Earth is the most complex system in the universe. Life ads so many variables to equations that a computer the buy cialis size of legal online cialis our planet (run by the mice, of course) wouldn't be able to calculate the outcome of a butterfly beating its wings in Mongolia.

It's no secret that we've already begun geoengineering...though, accidentally. Generally, we call this "climate change." And attempting to restore a natural balance is probably one of the most intelligent things we can do as a race.

But to only for you best canadian pharmacy start pouring many tons of calcium hydroxide into the oceans in an attempt to decrease the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is akin to shoving a rod into your brain and wow it's great cialis on women hoping you come out the other side a happier person.

You can identify the region of your brain responsible for depression. And you can carefully measure the sale viagra length of the rod. But once you shove it in there and start wiggling...no one has any idea what's going to happen. And while lobotomizing a patient is bad, irreparably damaging the Earth is what we call the apocalypse.

The local affects on ocean chemistry would certainly be deadly as the pH shot up. But on a large scale, the acidity of the ocean would likely not decrease at all. To change the pH of the entire ocean is not so simple.

In the end, the solar energy needed to create the lime would probably reduce CO2 far more if it were just fed into the grid. Plus, we wouldn't have to worry about accidentally breaking our planet.

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Comments (17)Add Comment
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A large scale assault
written by The Food Monster, July 22, 2008
http://thefoodmonsterblog.blogspot.com
I kinda see where you are going here, but it is rather confusing exactly what your point is.
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Individual Responsibility
written by Gustavion, July 22, 2008
I general, I think it is important for individuals to find creative ways to canadian pharmacy online help the environment and increase their utility. I came across a neat website that stops your postal junk mail while also reducing paper waste. Check it out at http://www.simplestop.net
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hi
written by conor, July 22, 2008
Hi hank! I think your artical is great. So you think we should geoengineer the http://www.strattonpublishing.com/online-us-viagra natural systems of the earth for our advantage? Well, I think thats a great idea and I think we hsould keep in touch. Maybe you could visit my website, and
I will post your website lnik onto mine. Maybe you can too. I think that the best way to solve the energy crises is to build solar panels and mass produce fuel cells. This would make cheap energy for the world.
0
...
written by T, July 22, 2008
Wonder what would happen to marine life when the ocean's CO2 levels increase?
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PH
written by EV, July 22, 2008
Well, currently the PH level is going down due to the absorption of cheapest cialis 20mg CO2. One could say that we are undoing our mistakes by restoring the PH level of the ocean to what it is supposed to be.
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Our options may start dwindling very qui
written by HG, July 22, 2008
Tinkering on a planetary scale is indeed frightening but at some point it might be our only option. It seems prudent to link for you how can i buy cialis in canada work on every feasible plan for C02 remediation and hold them reserve in case things get truly desperate on the viagra blood thinner climate front.
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Might be worth it
written by Doug, July 22, 2008
Given the pretty dire plight of corals, something like this, to "soak up" the CO2 in the oceans, might be necessary. Of course, one shouldn't be dumping all that lime at once in one spot; it would need to be spread evenly, and fairly gradually. First in a limited area for a while, with the effects monitored, and expanded if it seems to help and not cause damage.

In terms of solar power -- this could be a stopgap solution to how to "store" excess power. That is, if a solar plant is generating more than the grid can take (or than it can store as heat or through some other means), the power could be used to run whatever process is needed to create the lime. Putting excess solar (or other renewable) power into a "carbon-sinking" solution like this would help maximize that power's usefulness in combating global warming.

Of course, no one is going to do anything like this on a large scale unless there's an economic benefit. Perhaps it could be a facet of carbon cap-and-trade systems. But then, if there's a real economic benefit to it, then there's the danger of it being overused, and not halted even if it turns out to jesperoffice.com have negative effects.
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Nanoscale
written by Patrick, July 22, 2008
I think if we're going to really do geo-engineering safely, we'll need better nanotech, and in order to wield mature nanotech safely we'll need mature AI, and in order to wield mature AI safely we'll need collective intelligence structures, and in order to wield those effectively we'll need interaction designs that are elegant enough to marginalize unforseen risks, and focused enough to marginalize known ones. In the short term, simply reinforcing the economy with renewable energy is probably the best strategy, then the acceleration of technology can continue, and these solutions can be pursued. Simply dumping chemicals is too stochastic and buring levitra online crude a molecular process.
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Geo-Engineering??
written by mike, July 22, 2008
Geo-engineering is a terrible idea. It's one thing if 200 years of free online sample viagra industrialization have unforeseen consequences, but to believe that somehow we have the the best place viagra without prescriptions know how to "hack" the earth's natural systems is preposterous at best and criminally insane at worst. The cost-benefit analysis is not a very good one in this case. As Hank said, potential apocalypse is a good enough reason to be skeptical of this as a solution.
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RE:Might be worth it
written by Loosely_coupled, July 22, 2008
Storing excess energy from solar energy is not difficult, it's just a matter of coming up with the most efficient system. Pumping water up hill, pressuring air tanks, heating molten salts, etc can all be used to retain that energy for later.
I think it'll come down to some type of large scale energy storage in the form of reversible chemical energy. They'll take some readily available basic molecule and add energy to turn it into something else or have it change form.
Sort of like a rechargeable battery on an industrial scale.
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Other possibilities of geoengineering
written by Edouard, July 23, 2008
Nice article as always !

I just wanted to add that there are other possibilities in this field such as cooling back the poles thanks to levitra for sale usa wind power.

It is a soft way that will just enable to make ice in these regions, or simply to avoid total disappearance of buy cialis in england ice there. No harms done...

I will write something on this topic on my blog one of these days. smilies/smiley.gif
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...
written by Corban, July 23, 2008
We can't even predict the weather 3 days in advance, let alone know the consequences of blindly dumping material into a dynamic system.
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Chief Operating Officer
written by Robert Wood, July 23, 2008
Geoengineering has some great possibilities. That being said we just are not ready to start screwing with major planetary systems like this. We can't even get everyone in this country to accept climate change is happening; much less that man may have had a hand in it. Now we want to start messing with the system artificially. We just are not technologically ready to make that leap. Lets start treating the cause not the symptoms. We need to slow down on pumping the GHG into the atmosphere before we can start finding reasonable ways to take out what we have put there.
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Technological Optimism and the http://www.diabetes.org.br/herbal-levitra Worship o
written by Roger Brown, July 23, 2008
EcoGeek believes in the power of technology. We're optimists...full of hope in a field that was once hopeless. I honestly think we have a chance of feeding 10 billion people in 2050 without completely destroying the planet. It's not going to be easy, but it is possible.

I am not a doomer myself. I do not predict the death by starvation of billions of people. However, any solution to the problem of finitude which does not involve a revolutionary change of our economic and political system in addition to the development of 'green' technology is doomed to failure. A world of non pescription cialis ten billion people all constantly striving to get richer is not going to be sustainable. Within the context of our current economic system we have no choice but to strive to get richer. This is a matter of elementary economics. Read Adam Smith. In Wealth of Nations he emphasizes over and over again that in a stagnant economy the wages of labor drop to subsistence levels, and in a declining economy people go hungry. This suffering associated with the absence of growth has nothing to do with our absolute productivity and everything to do with concentrated private ownership of natural resources and generic levitra without prescription capital. No, I do not think that the poor in the underdeveloped world should be frozen at their current economic level, but in the OECD countries we should be striving to create a wealth maintaining economy rather than a wealth increasing economy. Wealth maintenance does not mean freezing manufacturing technology at its current level of development. It means leveraging efficiency improvements and technological innovations to increase the sustainability of the production of how much is viagra vital goods and services (e.g. food, clothing, shelter, sanitation, health care, education) rather than leveraging it to increase the size of our pile toys as rapidly as possible. Simultaneously striving to make manufacturing 'greener' and to increase the total volume of sales as rapidly as possible is a losing proposition in a finite world. In any rational economic system we would be striving to minimize GDP rather than maximizing it. I have little hope that such rationality will prevail any time soon. As Dimitri Orlov has noted, the image of an earthly paradise associated with unending 'progress' and increasing economic wealth has a mythic power which is utterly resistant to rationality and common sense.
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The root cause of the problem is populat
written by fred, July 23, 2008
A world-wide citizenry cull is needed. If we can drop the population back to AD 1850 levels we will be OK.

All it takes is a democratic process wherein people can vote for those citizens who should be terminated - much like a Reality TV show. In fact the process would make really good TV.
0
...
written by katakanadian, July 24, 2008
So we are supposed to dig up 10,000 km3 of limestone in Australia? That sounds pretty environmentally devastating. What is the safe rate to add all that to Southern Ocean? You have to give it time to dissipate if you don't want it to kill off local sealife. If you can safely dump only a few cubic kilometers a year in one area then it won't be effective rapidly enough and/or you have to expend large amounts of energy to ship this stuff around the world to spread it dilutely enough.

I think this idea may form a very small part of the solution to climate change but it should not be thought of as an easy fix that doesn't require us to do the cialis pills canadian much harder (and far more effective) job of try it viagra overnite conserving energy, switching to carbon-free energy sources, and restoring our ecosystems instead of strip mining the planet in an effort to remain lazy while buying the all latest toys.
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Thanks for covering this
written by Chris Unitt, July 31, 2008
Many of the worries expressed here, esp those katakanadian mentions, are also expressed on the Cquestrate website. Those questions are the same ones we're trying to answer to see if the process would be feasible on a large scale.

If anyone can help at all then contributions on the site are very welcome.

Also, as a few people mention, this is no magic bullet. If it could be made to work with no negative environmental effects then that's great but there would still be a need for other sustainability projects.

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