Citizen Engineering and the green New Deal
The federal green new deal and all of the proposed state green new deals have no form yet, which in political terms means that nothing at all shall exist to stop unscrupulous politicians from molding the green new deal in harmful ways. Bernie Sanders at least has a written commitment to practical research and development, and Jay Inslee was pushing for R&D.
This being a climate emergency with a nonzero probability of a worldwide population crash, I would then call for the establishment of a climate engineering vetting organization. We collectively need to state where the engineering funding is desperately needed and which projects are going to be too much gravy boat and too little progress. We especially need to focus on two valleys of death: first, single good ideas need to get checked out quickly for show-stopping arguments against them. Second, useful products need to get prototyped as many times as needed and then production needs to be ramped up.
We need to displace fossil fuels worldwide. The bigger the total displacement, the more urgent the project. Corporations have grabbed (and will continue to grab) the low-hanging fruit, but nobody at all is working on the medium-hanging fruit with a 5 year to 20 year rollout timeline. I can name a pile of good projects here.
The Arctic regions are melting down and are releasing 1.7 teratons of greenhouse gases. This is unacceptable, which means that any engineering projects that blunt the damage with low ecological side effects get high priority. My targets would be wind-powered artificial snow making machines that coat sections of Arctic tundra in late spring, and wind-powered pumps that restore the Arctic Ocean’s original ice pack thickness.
Photosynthesis-based and agriculture-based carbon sequestration is the surest way to pull carbon out of the atmosphere. We probably should find ways to improve sequestration or to at least minimize carbon outgassing in almost every biome on earth’s land mass: farmland, savannah, scrub land, tundra, uplands, suburban house lawns, you name it. We know, for example, that trees can lower local temperatures and can raise local soil humidity. Then we might need financial mechanisms to get the locals involved.
So, how would a hopefully corruption-resistant organization for the vetting of climate engineering projects, including citizen engineering projects, be put together? I’m not asking for a chunk of software or for an organizing trip halfway around the world, just a legal entity and some people.
- : Paul klinkman
- : firstname.lastname@example.org
- : I want feedback from the community on my contribution