Text by Joe Battle
Geo-engineering, the intentional manipulation of nature to compensate for the damage humans have done over the past two centuries, has become a very hot topic. In "Re-Engineering the Earth" (The Atlantic, July/August 2009), writer Graeme Wood profiles several scientists who are developing radical "solutions" to climate change. Here are five of the most outrageous.
1. Launching zeppelins to fly through the air with long tubes connected to them that pump out sulfur dioxide. During the day, these continuously puffing machines would protect us against the sun. Unfortunately the pollutant's chemical makeup would cause the sky to glow red.
2. Creating 20 electromagnetic guns that shoot 800,000 Frisbee-size ceramic disks into space every five minutes to block and redirect sunlight. The firing of these disks would go on continually for ten years. Imagine the Earth with an ostentatious pair of sunglasses.
3. "Carbon eaters" – Engineered trees created to suck carbon out of the air: like normal trees—but on steroids.
4. Painting the skies white through the use of propellers that are individually attached to a permanent fleet of 15,000 ships. The propellers would cause sea water to fly in the air creating more moisture. Wind would take it to the clouds making them the clouds bulkier and whiter. Sunlight would then be bounced back into space.
- Nat Geo Expeditions
5. Taking carbon to the ocean floor to create an enormous bloom of carbon-absorbing plankton. In essence, sweeping our carbon problem under the (plankton) carpet.
Get the full story here.