The best solutions that ego-engineers can offer appear to have negative side effects that are so catastrophic, it makes “living green” seem like an attractive alternative.
Summary: “Re-engineering the Earth” written by Garage Wood is an examination of the earth’s future and the problems we face concerning climate change. Wood captures his reader’s attention in the first paragraph with a gloomy and somewhat scary description of Earth’s possible future by associating it with the blockbuster movie Blade Runner.
Wood then suggests that the movie may have been futuristic when it was filmed but now the time setting is actually only a few years away. Throughout the essay, the author examines many different types of ego- engineering, large scaled global projects in which the goal is to control climate change, and their possible negative impacts on the environment. Wood first conveys that cutting carbon emissions is the “old fashioned way’ (42) and is extremely expensive. Wood then looks at the theory espoused by Steven Salter.
Salver’s strategy suggests commandeering a permanent fleet of ships to drag propellers that will churn up sea water and spray it sea water high enough to allow the wind to carry it into the clouds. ” (94). This would add the moisture necessary to create denser clouds and serve as a reflective shield in which sunlight would bounce back into the atmosphere therefore, cooling the earth. Wood states the estimated cost of this theory is $600 million plus an additional $100 million per year to keep the project going.
Next Wood examines Roger Angel’s concept of creating a giant space visor. Angel’s several trillion dollar idea is to construct 20 massive electromagnetic guns ND launch millions of Frisbee-size ceramic disks into space.
Over time, these discs would act as a sunshade blocking the sunlight and lowering the earth temperature. Lastly, the idea that Wood infers as the most feasible is the sulfur-aerosol injection project. He points to the fact that this method has already been proven to work through historic volcano eruptions like those of Mount Tambala and Mount Punctuation.
He recounts those eruptions caused sulfur to be released into the atmosphere resulting in a cooling effect on the planet. While Wood thinks this idea is the most racial, he also suggests it to be scary and problematic. Wood makes the case that ego-engineering projects like sulfur-aerosol would be a relatively easy “game changer” but the unknown effects that follow could prove to be destructive and catastrophic.
Wood sums it all up by pointing out the optimistic viewpoint that we should use the possible negative side effects of ego-engineering as a catalyst to promote a practical current plan of “greener living”. 910). Rhetorical Mode: In the essay “Re-engineering the Earth,” Garage Wood uses cause and effect as a rhetorical mode. Wood begins by describing a “premonition of the future that looks like Blade Runner” (910) and what the Earth could become if we do not continue to explore more practical solutions to the current global warning problem. He continues by providing some radical concepts that ego-engineers are considering as defense and then provides the catastrophic drawbacks they might incur.
The focal point of the essay is the fact that “humans have been aggressively transforming the planet for more than 200 years” (93) lacking regard for the consequences and are now considering transforming it more using unknown and possible devastating variables. Wood also uses argument as a rhetorical mode when he poses the question or “argument” that in light of the seemingly far-fetched and unfounded ideas to fix the planet we might want to consider living greener: “Perhaps a Pries doesn’t sound so bad, when a zeppelin is the alternative. (910) Rhetorical Devices: Within the first sentence of the essay, Wood uses a simile to describe what we might see in the future if the earth was ravaged by catastrophic climate change. He compares delicate strands of fire hose to spaghetti: “…
We might see long, delicate strands of fire hose trenching into the sky, like spaghetti, attached to zeppelins hovering 65,000 feet in the air”. (91); and again when he paints the picture of future skies by utilizing the movie Blade Runner for a medium: “… Buffs of aerosolize pollutant would glow dramatic red, like the skies in Blade Runner”. (91).
Wood incorporates an anaphora through Roger Angel when he quotes him as saying: “l know it sounds like mad science. But, unfortunately we have a mad planet. ” (95). Woods also uses understatement when he states “And we could do it cheaply: $100 billion dollars..
. “. (42). Personal Response: My mother happens to be the biggest recycling Junkie I know, and while a little nutty, she is absolutely committed.
I have rolled my eyes many times at her and the “go green fad”. I often tease her and note that I do not have to save the world because she is doing enough for all of us.
I also felt that “saving the earth” was a very convenient cliche© for a lot of people who were attempting to greedily capitalize on the Earth’s current climate change issue. This essay made me question the part I have taken or more accurately, the part I have avoided over the years. Thinking of a smog covered, red skied world in which my gather will live seems bleak and frightens me.
Perhaps now, I realize that at least my mother is actually doing something while l, like many others, am doing nothing. Maybe, I should take a bigger part in recycling.
Maybe, I should pay more attention to my aerosol hairspray can. Maybe, I should reconsider carrying a tote to the grocery store instead of bringing my groceries home in a plastic bag. After all, my family future is my responsibility. I am not saying that I will be on the front lines protesting and waving banners or that I will be lobbying Congress to pass bills requiring immediate drastic reforms, but you have to start somewhere.
I believe in the scientific principle of Scam’s razor; considering all potential options available, the most logical answer is usually the correct one.
A Pries would not be my first choice in vehicles but it certainly does beat a zeppelin. Conclusion: “Re-engineering the Earth” examines the very heated and controversial topic of global warming. It suggests that, as the custodians of this planet, we must keep pining for a viable solution that will enable our survival rather than hinder it and reminds us that the future is not so far away.