5 future technologies you really should know about – #1 Geo-engineering
If you are unfortunate enough to have had me as a dinner party guest or acquainting you on whiskey fuelled train journeys you will already have been subjected my pedagogic techno-future rants. If you haven’t, and feel you need to punish yourself after a sinful weekend, allow me to help you.
When most people hear the word technology it summons thoughts of shiny gadgets from the Far East that have a half- life of aesthetic appeal (until 20 years later when they become trendy again). But it is so much more than that; it extends back through evolution and predates our very existence. See as examples, beavers using rock to crack crabs, birds using sticks to weave nests – animals use technology. From the wheel, to the internal combustion engine, to written language to the Furby, it’s pretty much everything that we do. Its progression has dictated the history of humankind, we have a symbiotic relationship with technology and without it we’d cease to be human.
We really do live in a profound age where our mastery over the material world is accomplishing things the most imaginative authors of religious scriptures never reported their gods doing. This for many is a rational cause for fear, some call for us to abandon technological progress and revert to a more ‘natural’ way of life… this option is available to us all, but how many actually take it? It seems most of us aren’t really willing to give up on all those little comforts that technology has brought us.
The thing is, technological progress will plough on regardless at its exponential rate. Since Francis Bacon coined the term “Knowledge is power” and way before that, scientific and technological progress has been fuelled by human’s innate desire to get ahead of the next man. Short of having a one-world government with effective policing there is nothing that can stop technologies extropic stride into the future. We should do our best to acknowledge the inevitable, and work with it to steer it towards the more desirable results.
I have complied a short list of technologies unknown to most people that will dramatically affect the course of the 21st century. It may well do you favors to familiarise yourself with them. I write with no authority, just enthusiasm, those who know more about the following subjects, please correct me where I’m wrong.
I have a strong memory of watching ex vice-president Al Gore’s famous global warming shockumentary ‘An Inconvenient truth’ back in 2006 aged 16; it had the desired effect on me, I got all upset about how we were treating our planet… he would have made a hell of a demagogue had Bush not cheated the election.
Since then, being an antagonist, I’ve flirted heavily with the climate sceptics crowd. I’ve now abandoned that pack, and I stand firmly with the ‘let’s geo-engineer this shit’ group, its way smaller group then the sceptics (who are now over saturated with republican fuckwits), and I’m cool like that. It’s so fresh and unconventional, most of you have probably never heard of it…
But, before I define geo-engineering, lets set some facts straight:
1. The earth is warming up (nobody is denying that any more)
2. The fact we are burning loads of fossil fuels probably isn’t helping (apparently, 97% of climate scientists agree this)
3. We are burning more fossil fuels then ever before and we aren’t slowing down
4. This is a problem
Now, what the hell is geo-engineering? It is a conceptual field of science where ideas are being thrown around about how to engineer our climate. Funnily enough, this has just provoked memories of when I was quite young, thinking of solutions to combat rising sea levels… I figured, maybe if you pumped lots of sea-water to the south pole, when it got there, it would freeze and we could just make an ice mountain, and ta da! Luckily, scientists have come up with some more plausible solutions then my 12yr old mind, ones that address the problem further down; with global temperature, so sea levels don’t have to rise, and we don’t have to resort to my idea.
Indonesia looks idyllic right? 17,500 or so tropical islands, but warning – if you are a hippie just make sure you stick to the right ones, the neighbors Malaysia don’t like hippies, or punks. But what’s worse then being having a Malaysian policeman cut off your glorious hippie locks; being anywhere in Malaysia or Indonesia back in August 1883, when Mt. Krakatoa popped its cap, sending 3.5 cubic miles of rock and shit high in the air. This made the loudest sound ever recorded, and would have certainly deprived my hypothetical C19th hippies of their ability to rock it out to Jimi Hendrix, or any music… presuming they survived the tsunamis, lava and burning hot rocks raining down for miles around.
Relevance? Well, being the largest volcanic explosion in human recorded history, it had profound effects on the global climate; shit got cold, for a few years. Hang on a sec… cold, we need that right? This is what you call anachronistic serendipity – an unexpected yet fortunate event, out of its historical context. So we need a Krakatoa every few years for the foreseeable future and we are fine?
So here is my suggestion – lets find big active volcanoes, drill deep holes down them and shove loads of A-bombs down the holes, triggering Kerry Katona ass volcanic explosions, and cooling the earth.
This might be a good point to explain why Krakatoa cooled the planet. Basically, it was powerful enough to put a lot of sulphur dioxide into the stratosphere, that thing above the atmosphere 17 miles above your very nog right now. When sulphur dioxide reaches the temperature and atmospheric pressure present in the stratosphere, it crystalizes, and reflects sunlight.
Again, those scientists have outdone me on the practical idea front. We don’t need big ass volcanic explosions, we only need to mimic the effects. Again there are various suggestions, but the most beautiful I think (funnily enough) is the one that sounds most like my sea-level combatting idea. Instead of a pipe going to the south pole (which would be fucking long), why not take a short cut and shove one into the sky? Yes you heard me – a hosepipe into the sky, suspended by helium balloons… and instead of water, we stick liquid sulphur dioxide through it. Once its up there, the high winds ever-present in the stratosphere will distribute these molecular mirrors around the planet, reflecting sunlight and cooling the earth.
Sounds ridiculous, I know – but I urge you to go and Google this now, it seems there is no dispute about the credibility of this/these (there are various more) ideas. Another solution is to have 8 modified Boeing 747’s working round the clock, making chemtrails a reality, (other then a half arsed conspiracy theory spouted by people who are scared the government are trying to get chemicals into their body by chucking them out of the back of passenger jets, yet don’t seem to have a problem with the ingredients in the cigarettes they smoke).
It’s obvious what how many people would respond to this – isn’t it a bit backwards to fix the problem of us pumping shit into the atmosphere by pumping more shit into the atmosphere? The thing is, it would only take a fraction of a percent of the sulphur dioxide we already put in the atmosphere annually – the difference being it would be going into the stratosphere, if we managed to cut back 0.2 % on global sulphur dioxide emissions (much more plausible the carbon dioxide cut back projections), and re-directed those higher up, then we aren’t pumping more shit anywhere.
So, if what I’m saying is new to you, you must be wondering, “Why haven’t I heard about this? Surely it should be common knowledge that there is a credible get out clause to this global warming apocalypse looming on the horizon?””
Well, I have numerous tangents of conjecture on this front, but I’d like to encourage those of you who have had the stamina to read this far to contribute in a debate as to why we appear to be kept in the dark about geo-engineering.
I shall leave you with this quote…
“Like all the best religions, fear of climate change satisfies our need for guilt, and self-disgust, and that eternal human sense that technological progress must be punished by the gods. And the fear of climate change is like a religion in this vital sense, that it is veiled in mystery, and you can never tell whether your acts of propitiation or atonement have been in any way successful.” – Boris Johnson
Oh, and I’ll end with the title for this article… Geo-engineering, an inconvenient truth (for the green movement and the west that need to suppress the 3rd world to stay on top)
Written by Fail Burgers