A prominent climate scientist who's actively involved in developing technologies to thwart the natural weather patterns of the globe says he's disturbed by the prospect of having to make such drastic changes to the common order of things in order to fight so-called "global warming."
Dr. Matthew Watson from Bristol University in the UK told the media recently that he's "terrified" by many of the geoengineering projects currently in the works to thwart man-made climate change, which is still being hawked by many in mainstream science as a threat to humanity.
Speaking to the Daily Mail Online, Dr. Watson explained how futuristic technologies like spraying chemical particles into the sky to reflect sunlight back into space have the potential to disrupt how rain falls, how plants grow and how life lives.
Right now, Dr. Watson is working on a $2.8 million project of this exact nature. The plan is to inject sulfur particles into the earth's atmosphere with the stated goal of blocking the sun's rays from reaching Earth, ostensibly to keep the earth from getting too warm.
"Personally, this stuff terrifies me," Dr. Watson told reporters. "Whilst it is clear that temperatures could be reduced during deployment, the potential for misstep is considerable."
"By identifying risks, we hope to contribute to the evidence base around geoengineering that will determine whether deployment, in the face of the threat of climate change, has the capacity to do more good than harm."
Geoengineering will likely cause irreversible damage to planetary ecosystems
The simplistic nature of such projects ignores the immense level of irreversible damage that could result from interfering with the normal functions of the planet. By blocking sunlight, plants won't be able to engage in photosynthesis, for instance, which means no more oxygen and no more food.
Similarly, humans won't be able to obtain natural vitamin D if the sun's rays aren't allowed to penetrate the atmosphere, triggering an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency and resultant disease.
One proposed method of mitigating excess carbon dioxide, which many would argue isn't even a real problem, involves planting and irrigating millions of trees in the world's deserts. But this would directly counteract the natural reflection of sunlight from desert sands back into space, contributing to more warming.
Another proposal involves dumping iron particles into the world's oceans to supposedly improve the growth of photosynthetic organisms capable of absorbing carbon dioxide. But this concept would only further toxify the world's oceans, harming sea animals in the process.
Sulfur particles will destroy ozone layer, leaving animals and humans exposed to deadly radiation
Building upon an earlier idea pioneered by Dr. Watson, climate scientists are also working on ways to pump sulfur particles into the sky in order to disperse and reflect sunlight back into space. But this process threatens to destroy atmospheric ozone, leaving plants, animals and humans exposed to harmful solar radiation.
"Geoengineering will be much more expensive and challenging than previous estimates suggest and any benefits would be limited," maintains Professor Piers Forster from the University of Leeds, who has long tracked climate engineering projects of this type and determined them to be more threatening than beneficial.
Professor Steve Rayner from Oxford University, who specializes in the legal and ethical ramifications of geoengineering, seems to agree. He told the Daily Mail Online that too little is known about the long-term effects of geoengineering, including their impact on planetary ecosystems.
"Mostly it is too soon to know what any of these technology ideas would look like in practice or what would be their true cost and benefit," he stated.
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Featured image credit: NASA