Global Warming/Climate Change

Five Ways to Save the World

The BBC has aired a 1-hour documentary entitled ‘Five Ways to Save the World’. It features five specialised viewpoints on how we might cool the world through human management of the ecosystem. The videos below are portions of this documentary. It would be interesting to get your thoughts on this topic.

The Five Ways:

  1. Artificial CO2-collectors positioned all over the planet

    Sending very thin lightweight mirrors into space (20 tons worth) to deflect and reduce the amount of sunlight reaching earth.

  2. A fleet of remote controlled ‘sailing ships’ would spray fine sea water particles into clouds, the salt increasing their thickness, causing them to block and reflect more sunlight.
  3. Firing hundreds of rockets which would release tons of sulphur into the stratosphere, creating a sunscreen around the Earth.
  4. Fertilising the oceans with iron and nitrogen to stimulate increased phytoplankton activity – encouraging increased CO2 absorption.
  5. Giant synthetic trees that would filter CO2 out of the atmosphere.

A few classic statements from the program:

  • “Dramatic plans are now under serious discussion, to engineer the world before it’s too late.”
  • “We’re meddling with it already, so we need to meddle with it some more, and maybe do something good this time.”
  • “So has Klaus Lackner found a way of accommodating our excessive burning of fossil fuels, so we can, for the time being at least, continue living our energy rich lives?”

So, guys, what do you think?

I wonder, if we were to embark on such global manipulations, would all the billions of people to be affected get a chance to vote on it?

For myself, these schemes are, despite the credentials of their proponents, all a continuation of the simplistic reductionist thinking that got us into this mess in the first place. As humans we seem to have a curious mixture of complete awe over the complexities of natural systems, whilst somehow retaining a dangerous belief we can manipulate and manage them. Such simplistic tinkering reminds me of a ‘Whack-a-Mole’ game – where you defeat a problem in one place, and another pops up somewhere else as a direct result. And, while scientists are busy playing this game, grappling with an infinite chain reaction of events, the rest of the world continues with their industry and lifestyle habits – resting in the assurance that a saviour of the world, in the form of a bespectacled white lab-coat wearing scientist, will harness and wield the forces of nature to shape our future according to how we want to live (is it just me, or is the scientist starting to sound more like one of those super-villians from a batman movie..?).

If, after spending trillions of dollars on these ideas, they don’t solve our problems (or magnify them), will we get a refund? Of course not. But, more importantly, they wouldn’t be able to turn back the clock – to get us back to this moment in time, today, where we still have the possiblity to do something tangible (oh, unless we believe they actually can turn back the clock too?).

Probably the smartest sentence in the movie (in my subjective opinion):

Once you start managing nature, you’ve got to continue managing nature. It’s no use hoping it will restore itself to a new equilibrium set up by humans. Nature will need to be managed forever…

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6 Comments

  1. This is scary. It is sad to see intelligence wasted. Why would you make a fake tree instead of just planting one. There is advanced technology that will help in the efforts to save humanity, but it should be free. Free technology is the most tried and tested, now with the internet advancement of this technology is moving at an ever increasing pace. I don’t think it will be long before the old “system” just becomes obsolete and moves to the wayside. Peace.

  2. It is better than most televison. What I find difficult in this film though: we cannot use technology to reverse this situation on earth. What we need to do involves how each of us lives here on earth/ heaven. The top way for us to ” save the world” is to sow, tend, and save seed. Repeat so on and so on. To me the answer lies in Permaculture not just as a way to grow plants but as a lifestyle. What I like about the approach is: see her in the States(USA) we suffer from bad culture or no culture. We are all so hungry for culture and permaculture gets use back to working with nature, feed ourselves and being connected to what supports us. It is time for us to find love within and demostrate that love to those we borrow this land from the childern. Do they want food or money? Food I say what do you say, oh ya adequte water air and a place to move. May you be nourished

  3. The key as you highlighted is the ‘same thinking’. All the time we think that the world is made up of discrete parts rather than interconnected wholes, we will continue to live with the ‘fall-out’ from such schemes. Every action we take has a consequence … sometimes good, sometimes bad. Unless we accept that we will never find a ‘final solution’ and that we are in a dynamic process to which we can only respond, rather than control, we will never move from a reactive, rather than proactive stance to life. As George Monbiot states in his book Heat, capping (reduction) of consumption needs to go hand-in-glove with any green initiatives. Of course! Nature always expands into the space made available, so the more products we produce, the more fuel we find, the more access we create consumption will always rise to meet it, unless we say “NO”.

  4. What else to expect from bbc? masters of sophism and soft propaganda. they are great at what they do and at making things look impossible without the mad scientists and the corporate backers they run for.

    Another binge of fake assessment and false promises, removing true causes from the facts and from the situation we are in, diverting from the necessary simple solutions of doing less doing better, consumming less and the necessity to empower each and everyone to do it lowtech at close range.

    If those sick egos and rather childish inventors get in the game, it will only speed up the fall.

    We all understand here now that all those involved in the equation of that film are paid to lie, blurr the minds further and to make it worse for the sake of a few and against the planet.

    It’s actually funny to see how they spin things so grossly. Just as if it had been made in the sci-fi consummerist usa of the 50’s.

    Gross!

    Let’s stay focused on the real living strategies we have at hand.

    Fx.

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