10 February 2014

J. D. Bernal on Geoengineering and Climate Change

I am re-reading J. D. Bernal's 1939 classic, The Social Function of Science. In it I found this interesting passage on geoengineering and climate change:

He writes of the future tasks of science and explains (pp. 379-380):
It will no longer be a question of adapting man to the world but the world to man. For instance, the present Arctic with its wastes of tundra, glacier, and sea ice is a legacy of the geological accident of the Ice Age. It will disappear in time, leaving the world a much pleasanter place, but there is no reason why man should not hasten the process. By an intelligent diversion of warm ocean-currents together with some means of colouring snow so that the sun could melt it, it might be possible to keep the Arctic ice-free for one summer, and that one year might tip the balance and permanently change the climate of the northern hemisphere.
Geoengineering peeps take note.