How Far Is Too Far to Prevent Climate Change?
Scientists are looking at increasingly risky ways of combating climate change.
We're at a tipping point in human history when it comes to climate change. Meanwhile, scientists are preparing to take extreme measures to stop the coming catastrophe.
The eruption of the Mount Pinatubo volcano in the Philippines gave scientists an idea. As the volcanic ash spewed across the sky, it helped reflect the sun's rays, cooling the Earth.
Ken Caldeira, a climate scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science, explained in an interview with PRI: “The planet was more or less a degree Fahrenheit cooler than it otherwise would’ve been despite the increasing rise in greenhouse gases.”
The ash helped block the sun's rays from reaching the Earth — less sun, meant less heat. This led scientists to wonder how they could artificially create this effect to alter the path of climate change.
“We need to decide as a civilization whether this is going to be mostly a natural world ... and interfere as little as possible on natural systems. Or are we going to ... manage it the way we’ve managed so many other things.”
“There are planes that can go up to the stratosphere now,” Caldeira said. “The spraying technologies are well-developed ... The bigger question is what are the unintended consequences of doing such a dramatic act.”
This premise has already been explored in the dystopian sci-fi film, Snowpiercer. The story goes that humanity is at the end of their rope after an attempt to avert the effects of global warming goes wrong. Scientists developed a chemical that planes sprayed across the stratosphere. The result caused an unintended reaction, which created an extreme temperature shift causing the planet to freeze over. The only survivors reside on this train, which stays in constant motion, protecting it from freezing. Pretty bleak.
“I think we’re at a bit of a crossroads,” Caldeira said to PRI. “We need to decide as a civilization whether this is going to be mostly a natural world ... and interfere as little as possible on natural systems. Or are we going to ... manage it the way we’ve managed so many other things.”
Bill Nye is kept up by the notion of climate change. It's happening, and yet little has been done on a global scale to drastically change our fate.
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.
- The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
- Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
- Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
The Canadian professor's old-school message is why many started listening to him.
- The simplicity of Peterson's message on suffering echoes Buddha and Rabbi Hillel.
- By bearing your suffering, you learn how to become a better person.
- Our suffering is often the result of our own actions, so learn to pinpoint the reasons behind it.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
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