[I apologize for having duplicated a segment in the previous post. Below, I have omitted a further litany of the dire environmental threats we face.]
. . . . The great climatic snowball is already unstoppably careening down a very steep slope.
But wait; cannot our genius overcome even this? Of course. All we need is some good geo-engineering. Some have proposed filling the skies with hoses that pump sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere. This will dramatically cool the planet and treat us to beautiful red skies. Others have proposed shooting ceramic discs into orbit. Others suggest throwing sea water into the air. These and other similar ideas are frighteningly feasible. What could possibly go wrong? In the case of the use of sulfur dioxide, there would likely be an amplification of the already significant problem of acid rain which not only corrodes our precious monuments but also destroys plant and animal life, both aquatic and terrestrial. The acidification of the oceans is understood to have contributed significantly to massive coral bleaching in the world’s tropical seas, and with the death of the coral reefs comes the extinction of untold species of fish and other marine creatures, not to mention the heightened vulnerability of the coastlines they protect. What else could go wrong if any of these proposals were put to effect? We really don’t know. That was the problem with the wonders of the industrial age. And that’s the point.
Too much has already been lost. Too much more must inevitably follow in its wake. So, yes, there is reason for great pessimism and even despair. But there is also reason for hope. Perhaps we can avert some of the worst consequences of our reckless past. Perhaps we can truly awaken in this critical hour and collectively rise up to turn the tide and take back the power from those whose only motivation seems to be greed.