Pages 42-47 THE ENVIRONMENTAL FORUM SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2007
Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases may be well intentioned and even
helpful. But as the sole strategy for climate change control it is nevertheless
inflexible, expensive, risky, and politically unrealistic, according to this government economist. Such a strategy could even make matters worse.
Fortunately, there is a better solution.
ALAN CARLI N
Alan Carlin is a Senior Economist at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The views expressed in this article are his own and should not be taken to represent official U.S. policy.
"Fortunately, recent research illustrates that nature has worked out an efficient system for removing carbon dioxide from the seas: fertilizing ocean plankton to stimulate them to absorb carbon dioxide (much as plants do) and transport it to the sea floor. Humans have not yet figured out a very efficient way to emulate nature in this regard — seeding the ocean with iron particles has been suggested — but ocean fertilization may be the best current hope, whether under either the ERD or the SRM approach. Given the magnitude of the threat, research on and implementation of geoengineering or other solutions to ocean acidification also needs to become a top priority."