The Planet Remade
The risks of global warming are real, and potentially vast. The difficulty of doing without fossil fuels is daunting, and possibly insurmountable. So there is an urgent need for new thinking on climate change. To meet that need, a small but increasingly influential group of scientists is exploring proposals for planned human intervention in the climate system. A stratospheric veil against the sun; the cultivation of photosynthetic plankton; a fleet of unmanned ships seeding clouds: these are the radical technologies of climate geoengineering. It is chilling to think of such power, and such scope for misadventure or malice, in humans hands. And yet we are now at the point where we have no choice but to take them very seriously indeed.
The Planet Remade explores the science, history and politics behind these strategies. It looks at who might want to see geoengineering put to use – and why others would be dead set against it. In the last two centuries, changes to the planet – to the clouds and soils, to the winds and the seas, to the great cycles of nitrogen and carbon – have been far more profound than most of us realize. Appreciating the scale of that change compels us to rethink not just our responses to global warming, but our relationship to nature. With sensitivity, insight and expert science, Oliver Morton unpicks the moral implications of climate change, our fear that people have become a force of nature, and what it might mean to try and use that force for good. The Planet Remade is about imagining a world where people take care instead of taking control.