I was recently once again engaged in the never-ending semantic distraction and explaining the etymology and use of the word “geoengineering.” Here’s a brief explanation I posted elsewhere to which I received a few likes.
Just as the term “global warming” has proven to be stupidly misleading, regarding the effects and impacts of anthropogenic CO2 and other green house gases on the world, so too is the term “geoengineering.” Both terms were meant to be or at least certainly have become “spin mastering” devices used increasingly for ill even sinister intent and they have proven to be just caustically so.
If we talk honestly about “geoengineering” meaning global scale modification of the planet we must put first and foremost all of agriculture which surely is the most extensive and intensive engineering and modification of land area of this planet ever.
Following that is the mechanical engineering use of concrete, asphalt, and the variety of building materials that go into our human infrastructure.
Of course the chemical engineering of the planet accomplished by spewing more than half a trillion tonnes of CO2 into the air and causing an equal amount to be emitted from consequent environmental change is perhaps the most potent and pernicious of all.
Perhaps, and just perhaps, science fictions space borne sunshades and Tellerian stratosphere noxious fumes might, if they were not so impossibly and economically far-fetched, might qualify as a new form of geoengineering.
As for CO2 repurposing technologies this is something that I can speak to from a position of some considerable expertise. Growing trees and restoring plant life in the seas are not “geoengineering” far more correctly they are “reverse geoengineering” but even that is a capitulation to the would be Malthusian spin masters of the word.
I Restore Trees
Surely what the world needs to do is pursue better courses of action to repurpose CO2 from it’s harmful form into better forms. I’ve done this since the early 1970’s when I founded a Canadian tree planting company (Coast Range). The company went on to plant hundreds of millions of trees each and every one made possible by the repurposing of CO2.
Using “back of the envelope” metrics those trees planted by the likes of me in my youth and the hundreds we hired to do likewise are on growing today and collectively repurposing upwards of a billion tonnes of CO2.
More importantly those restored forests are homes for birds and squirrels and maybe just about now becoming wood for your homes or for me my grandchildren’s homes. Given that last thought maybe my worn out knees are not such a high price to pay.
More recently I have focused my repurposing of CO2 efforts by working to replenish and restore large ocean pastures like the one we managed to do in the N. Pacific in 2012, some many tens of thousands of square kilometers in size.
An expected result of my ocean pasture work was last falls largest catch of salmon in history in the near-by state of Alaska. Our work repurposed scores of millions of tonnes of CO2 into hundreds of millions of salmon
An unexpected consequence of that work has been that a small part of that bountiful catch has now been purchased by US Food Aid programs and is on the way to feed hungry children in America. I’m going to make sure when I am next with my grandkids that I serve up a batch of salmon salad sandwiches using my mother’s recipe.
Here’s a link to learn more http://russgeorge.net/
The same methods can replenish and restore ocean pastures in all of the seven seas of the world where an individual ocean pasture restoration project will repurpose hundreds of millions of tonnes of CO2 to bring hundreds of millions of fish into the nets of fishermen and into the mouths of people.
Around the world ocean pastures collectively restored will repurpose many billion tonnes of CO2 into billions of additional fish to feed the worlds hungry. http://russgeorge.net/
Now if this work of restoring nature must be spin mastered by fabricating a straw man called “geoengineer” then the question that ought to be asked is why would anyone want to prevent hungry people from being fed nutritious fish at incredibly low-cost in money and globally important repurposing of noxious CO2 transforming it into life itself. A good place to start on that trail is to simply ‘follow the money.’