Not only can technological fixes be applied to halt global warming at its optimized 1.5 Celsius level, it appears they are the only viable solution. As much as we’d all enjoy it, It’s totally unrealistic to expect a mass unified movement among populations to ditch their cars and commit to riding their bikes, walking, and taking public transport. In addition, there’s very little things our society could do without aid from scientific innovation in stopping the energy sources that are plaguing our atmosphere. Indeed, like many times before, it appears our only way out is a technological fix. However, it’s unlikely that enterprise alone is going to deliver and implement the technologies we need to control the growing threat of global warming, or at least, not within the time frame climate scientists are giving us. While renewable energy sources exist, and while in the long run their implementation will be more cost efficient than traditional sources, its still a massive investment and it’s very unlikely that corporate and state figures will be willing to make the switch in time. If we are to make the switch, it has to be a worldwide societal shift in our energy priorities, such as the one currently going on in Germany. However, the only true unifying trait of the developed world is its reliance on capitalism. While a societal shift would certainly help our conundrum, with the current synergy that government and industry have, it’s unlikely that it will happen unless renewable energy sources become a profitable endeavor. In conclusion, the only way to feasibly meet the deadline given to us by the IPCC is through the collaboration of science, society, government and industry. The good news is, it’s happened many times before.
The claims that climate science is in its infancy is totally unfounded. While it may not have been a formal science, studies on the effects of our impact on the environment and climate can be seen nearly at the dawn of science itself, and can be seen most clearly in the case of experimental physicist John Tyndall. John Tyndall was making claims nearly identical to the ones we’ve heard so often today all the way back in the mid 19th century. John Tyndall said that human derived interference with the atmosphere “may have produced all the mutations of climate that the researches of geologists revealed.” (Reidy, p.13)