Title: “Re-Engineering the Earth”
Author: Graeme Wood
Topic: Effects of geo-engineering
Thesis: The best solutions that geo-engineers can offer appear to have negative side effects that are so catastrophic, it makes “living green” seem like an attractive alternative. Summary: “Re-engineering the Earth” written by Graeme Wood is an examination of the earth’s future and the problems we face concerning climate change. Wood captures his reader’s attention in the first paragraph with a gloomy and somewhat scary description of Earth’s possible future by associating it with the blockbuster movie Blade Runner. Wood then suggests that the movie may have been futuristic when it was filmed but now the time setting is actually only a few years away. Throughout the essay, the author examines many different types of geo-engineering, large scaled global projects in which the goal is to control climate change, and their possible negative impacts on the environment. Wood first conveys that cutting carbon emissions is the “old fashioned way” (¶2) and is extremely expensive. Wood then looks at the theory espoused by Steven Salter. Salter’s strategy suggests commandeering a permanent fleet of ships to drag propellers that will “churn up sea water and spray it sea water high enough to allow the wind to carry it into the clouds.” (¶4). This would add the moisture necessary to create denser clouds and serve as a reflective shield in which sunlight would bounce back into the atmosphere therefore, cooling the earth. Wood states the estimated cost of this theory is $600 million plus an additional $100 million per year to keep the project going. Next Wood examines Roger Angel’s concept of creating a giant space visor. Angel’s several trillion dollar idea is to construct 20 massive electromagnetic guns and launch millions of Frisbee-size ceramic disks into space. Over time, these discs would act as a sunshade blocking the sunlight and lowering the earth temperature. Lastly, the idea...
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