SOURCE: Vision Media

Vision Media

October 07, 2009 03:04 ET

Science and Environment: Engineering Our Way Out of Planetary Peril

A New Article From Explores the Extent of the Human Footprint on Earth

PASADENA, CA--(Marketwire - October 7, 2009) - Hand-wringing over climate change has evolved into a new set of solutions beyond calling for a reduction in carbon emissions. When the nations gather in Copenhagen in December for the next round of climate discussions, a key idea will be geo-engineering. A recent science and environment article from titled, "A New Earth" speaks to this timely manner. "While there is growing agreement that there are many ways to upset the apple cart of civilization -- climate change, water scarcity, energy crisis, habitat destruction, species extinction -- other scientists are intrigued with the ever-increasing possibility of discovering ways to again twiddle the dials and restore planetary homeostasis. Through so-called geo-engineering, will we cobble together the technology to help us avert disaster?

According to a report released in September by London's Royal Society, "Concerns with the lack of progress of the political processes have led to increasing interest in geo-engineering approaches. This Royal Society report presents an independent scientific review of the range of methods proposed with the aim of providing an objective view on whether geo-engineering could, and should, play a role in addressing climate change, and under what conditions."(Royal Society)

"A New Earth" explores the extent of the human footprint on Earth. "For millennia the environment has been our enemy, the opponent from which we extracted our sustenance through continuous toil and sweat. While this remains true for a great many of us -- the billions who live in constant thirst and hunger continue to suffer both the vagaries of nature and the fickle hand of fellow man -- the level of comfort that the minority enjoy certainly seems a completely separate sphere, a kind of off-planet world that one sometimes sees in a science fiction movie."

The article addresses the most basic questions concerning the place of Homo sapiens in the world. "Do we have a role to play? Are we nature's biggest mistake, another temporary evolutionary dropping-of-the-ball like trilobites or dinosaurs? Or are we God's greatest creation that has somehow lost its way?"

Companion articles to "A New Earth" provide further insight into the possibilities of finding other Earth-like or habitable planets, and the misunderstood directive to "have dominion" found in Genesis.

While geo-engineering offers new and unproven ways to remove atmospheric carbon dioxide and futuristic ways to manipulate incoming solar radiation, the article "A New Earth" outlines solutions that are much closer to reality and are at hand today.

The Royal Society document concludes, "Public attitudes towards geo-engineering will have a critical influence on its future. Public dialogue, engagement and research to explore public and civil society attitudes, concerns and uncertainties should therefore be a central part of any future programs of work on geo-engineering."(Royal Society)

The article "A New Earth" contributes a clear voice in this dialogue.

About is an online magazine with quarterly print issues that feature in-depth coverage of current social issues, religion and the Bible, history, family relationship topics and insights into philosophical, moral and ethical issues in society today. For a free subscription to the Vision quarterly magazine, visit their web site at

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