When it rains, it doesn’t have to pour

27 February 2023, Martin Doeswijk

There has been an upcoming buzz around geo engineering in the newspapers and magazines at the end of recent years. Personally , I think intervention in the natural systems of the earth is difficult to understand. Mankind is consistently not able to act now with adequate solutions on the devasting developments that are coming up in the coming era.

Apparently , there is an unlimited trust in technology.  Geo engineering, techno-fix or climate manipulation will be seen as salvation for our societal challenges we have to face. In other words: we do see the thunder clouds, but we have an erroneous view believing the rain will disappear. 

Consequently , from my personal field of expertise, it’s apparent that the urgent needed change of habits to prevent the misuse of soils is lacking behind. An actual topic is the presence of PFAS in our environment (air, water and soil); the problem is already that big and a technical solution is impossible. First, priority is to ensure that these substances don’t enter our environment at all. A total ban of PFAS was proposed by the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Denmark earlier this month. This is a great initiative, but the total ban doesn’t seem like a total ban. There are exceptions for applications for which there are no alternative. Also ,  similar substances are introduced, but with a slightly different composition. Nevertheless, these substances have the same bad effect on our health and environment. 

This is only one of many examples that shows us that we apparently trust in (technical) solutions to solve the immense problems, caused by unawareness or simply disinterest. And the effect is that we don’t feel the urgency to solve this problem. This is the reason that geo engineering is a fallacy.

What do you think? Is it going to rain or will it disappear?
With our technical skills and innovative companies, we can play a major role in coming up with solutions for complex problems and unawareness. By sharing knowledge and using this knowledge, we can provide insight. Only then is it possible to enforce the urgent necessity of (technical) change and the necessary need for a change of habits. And as a result of this, we can make the rain disappear.

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