Pipe Dreams

Wednesday, 26th September 2007 at 18:33 UTC 2 comments

I’ve thought of writing about the many pipe-dreams people have for techno-fixes to Climate Change/Chaos. And now irony has just played the ultimate card. Pipes in the Ocean to bring cool water to the top. Yes people, we have a pipe dream for solving Climate Change which involves pipes! I’m sure I won’t be the only person to write a response with the above title.

The category of ‘Techno-Fix’ covers anything which assumes that technology will save us from Climate Change, despite the fact that its the technology which has been saving us from everything else which has actually created the problem. We’re now facing a situation the likes of which we’ve never seen before, differing from the Cold War only in its inevitability. And yet we are being called to rely, not on science, but on people’s aspirations for science.

The only scientific model which works is that we sharply curb our emissions. Any other model simply isn’t scientific because the course of scientific progress is not predictable. Sure, I understand that people can generalise some kind of solution, or get an incling as to what might work, but this technology is still not sorted, and may very easily be discovered to interfere with other aspect of the fine balance of life.

Still, while some of us attempt to cut our carbon emissions, we are faced with the certainty that, this being capitalism, someone will try and create a marketable solution and profit from it. I just don’t believe we can still trust science with all our problems, and certainly not with finding a solution that actually resolves the problem, rather than off-setting it onto future generations.


Entry filed under: Climate Change, Environment, Science, Technology.

Give us this day our daily Megabytes Brown on Burma

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. The Scientist  |  Friday, 28th September 2007 at 13:14 UTC

    Sure we need to cut emissions and can’t *rely* on science to solve the problem. But I’m not convinced that we can cut emissions fast enough to save ourselves. Therefore if science can do something (and even some of the more mad cap sounding schemes might be worth a try) then I think it’ll be worth trying.

    To often people try to portray science as the big bad wolf that got us into this mess, and neglect to point out that it’s also science which has noticed that we’re in the mess, and it is only good application of science (whether it be emissions cutting technology or other ideas) which’ll get us out.

  • 2. Graham Martin  |  Friday, 28th September 2007 at 13:29 UTC

    I think maybe I should have used the word Technology, seeing as its techno fixes that won’t save us, and yes, Science is what’s given us the information from which to respond.
    Though I guess there’s a difference between observational science and creative science, and its the latter that I’m painting more as a big bad wolf.


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