The Planet Remade: How Geoengineering Could Change the World by Oliver Morton - review by Robert Mayhew

Robert Mayhew

Engineering the Skies

The Planet Remade: How Geoengineering Could Change the World


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Oliver Morton opens with a question environmentalists and politicians of all stripes alike have rather fudged: if human-induced climate change is real (which all bar the Tea Party, Clive James and Nigel Lawson seem to accept), and if our efforts at reducing carbon emissions are proving woefully inadequate, is there another practical way forward other than hand-wringing or implausible calls for societal transformation? In response, Morton seeks a solution in the array of techniques bundled together as ‘geoengineering’: that is, the deliberate adjustment of levels of atmospheric particulates or the chemical composition of the atmosphere by planned emissions into the skies and the seas. [1pass] In short, if we are going to keep pumping out carbon, methane and so forth, is it possible for us to adjust the radiative properties of the skies so as to compensate for the climatic consequences of our actions?

To give the uninitiated a way into these questions, The Planet Remade takes us back to basics, explaining how the incoming radiation from the sun interacts with

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