It’s getting warmer, there ain’t no doubt about it. What are we going to do? Most folks say we should cut back on bad...

It’s getting warmer, there ain’t no doubt about it. What are we going to do? Most folks say we should cut back on bad things like carbon emissions. That would probably be a good idea. The trouble is we would have to cut back on all the good things that carbon emissions produce, like big houses, cool cars, and tasty food imported from far-away places. We don’t want to do that.

So what’s a global citizen to do? One idea is to take control of the environment, engineering-wise. Why cut back when we can simply manage the carbon-cycle a bit like we manage the climate in hothouses? In Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering(Yale UP, 2013), Clive Hamilton surveys the proposals big-thinking engineers have dreamed up to control the carbon-cycle on a truly massive scale. Some are wacky, others less so, but all are, well, very bold. Does any of it make sense? Can any of it be done? Hamilton investigates.

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