Monday, September 15, 2014

Reflections on Naomi Klein's Op-Ed, "Geoengineering: Testing The Waters"

I enjoyed this op-ed. Naomi Klein is an effective communicator. I get the idea she could hold a conversation, with another human being, in a line at Starbucks. I didn't get that feeling from some of the authors we've read. Klien opines on the disturbing effects of "geoengineering". For example, the idea that some nut, off the coast of B.C., can legally dump 120 tons of iron dust into the ocean and not get arrested. I light a cigarette on Bancroft, at the very least,  I'm getting a ticket, and possibly assaulted by some rogue, new age type. But dump 120 tons of iron dust into the ocean? Free pass, buddy, have a day. "The plan was to create an algae bloom that would sequester carbon and thereby combat climate change." For Klein, geoengineering is a movement/philosophy rooted in the idea that altering the natural world with unnatural, engineered interventions, is an effective way to counterbalance our consumptive habits. This philosophy is highly attractive. No change in behavior is necessary. We can continue our reliance on fossil fuels for transport and food production. Klein mentions Bill Gates has donated millions of dollars to several geoengineers. Geoengineering sounds sinister and frightening. One of my takeaways from this op-ed was her mention of (a) North American politicians avoiding this issue and (b) the idea that North America is leading the geoengineering "field" and will thereby (re)design the natural world, the majority of which, is not located in North America.    

2 comments:

Dale Carrico said...

Trying to imagine Naomi Klein in a Starbucks...

Ryan Van Runkle said...

Safeway?