Tech fixes could help address rising temperatures by reducing the amount of greenhouse gas we emit into the atmosphere. The IPCC report “finds that limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require ‘rapid and far-reaching’ transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities. (IPCC Press Release, 2) We have already employed some fixes, as we attempt to scrub our emissions from power plants, vehicles, and the livestock industry. We may be able to deploy a socio-tech fix in the timeframe, but I don’t know how effective it would be. A few fixes would be to have people reduce their carbon emissions across the board. Lessening motor traffic, energy consumption, and other climate warming activities would be a start. This would be difficult, as our society is very energy dependent. Also, the amount of current pushback, mostly political, against any sort of climate-saving action would present another tough obstacle. We should take action though, and while employing tech fixes may not solve the climate problem, it may delay it long enough for us to implement long-term or even permanent solutions. To start, we may need to convince skeptics that climate change is real, and that may be the hardest fix of all.
Climate science is nowhere near being in its infancy. In the mid 1800s, John Tyndall demonstrated the greenhouse effect with various gasses and declared “that any changes to the constitution of the atmosphere would ‘would produce great effects on the terrestrial rays and produce corresponding changes of climate’.” (Reidy-Tyndall, 13) The IPCC reports state a large amount of reliable climate research is being done. As the Chair of the IPCC says, “With more than 6,000 scientific references cited and the dedicated contribution of thousands of expert and government reviewers worldwide, this important report testifies to the breadth and policy relevance of the IPCC.” (IPCC Press Release, 1) These writings demonstrate the age of climate science, as well as the breadth and depth of climate research. Opponents of climate science may also sometimes say we need to “wait until all the facts are in” before taking action on anything climate related. This is counterintuitive, as “all the facts” will never be in. Waiting for the facts will be too late, and there may be irreparable damage to the planet by then. While I do believe we should question and verify what scientists are saying about global warming and its effects, there is no doubt in my mind that we must take steps to reduce our environmental impact. We have one planet, and if we wait too long for the “facts”, we may not have one anymore.