Some problems have easy solutions. If we feel sweaty, we’ll head for the shade. If our soup’s too hot, we’ll blow on it. If a room’s too stuffy, we’ll open a window. But what are the options when the planet grows too warm?
That is the problem — and an enormous one — that Earth and its dwellers now face. In recent decades, the planet has begun developing a fever. It’s caused by carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases polluting the atmosphere. The safest treatment should be to stop polluting, except that people show no signs of cutting back substantially on burning the fossil fuels that release this pollution. So some scientists have begun seriously considering a backup plan.
It involves hacking the Earth.