Geoengineering: A way to cool earth

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Oct 5, 2010
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Geoengineering: A way to cool earth

Nancy Marshall-Genzer Oct 5, 2010
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TEXT OF STORY

BILL RADKE: We’re in a carbon-constrained world. International talks to stop global warming are stalled,
Congress is not too interested in a carbon cap. There is one more way to cool the planet, but it’s controversial. This month, a congressional committee will issue a report on something called geoengineering.

Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall Genzer explains.


NANCY MARSHALL GENZER: It sounds like science fiction. But some scientists say they can control the climate by coating the atmosphere with particles that deflect sunlight. Or by growing ocean organisms that feed on greenhouse gases.

Geoengineering is popular because it doesn’t require cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. It gets rid of the gases instead. But some climate scientists say it’s a temporary solution at best.

Brenda Ekwurzel is with the Union of Concerned Scientists.

BRENDA EKWURZEL: It’s kind of like putting your finger in a dike. But the pressure of the water is still building behind the dike. And you haven’t gotten rid of the root cause.

Thomas Ackerman teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington. He says we can’t ignore geoengineering because some countries are already funding research.

TOM ACKERMAN: That attracts people who think that they can find a way to make money.

Ackerman says the world needs a consensus on geoengineering before one country resets the world’s thermostat unilaterally.

In Washington, I’m Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.

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