If Cutting Carbon Emissions Isn’t Working, What’s Next?

If Cutting Carbon Emissions Isn’t Working, What’s Next?

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What if it is too late to save the climate by cutting greenhouse gas emissions? What if the amount of carbon dioxide already added to the atmosphere by human activity is so great that it is going to produce big temperature changes no matter what, with big shifts in rainfall and in ocean chemistry? Options remain, according to a new book, “Suck It Up,” by Marc Gunther, a journalist, blogger and speaker who specializes in energy and climate issues.

If it is too late for zero-carbon electricity generation like wind, solar and nuclear to save us, then we should be exploring radical next steps, including geoengineering, which presents all sorts of novel problems. For one, once it has begun, it would presumably have to continue forever. Another is that countries could argue over how warm or cold they want the climate to be, like families on a long trip bickering over the temperature in the car.

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