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Clara Ferreira Marques

Solar Geoengineering Research Is a Risk Worth Taking

In the fight against climate change, the world can’t afford to limit its options.

The future is now.

The future is now.

Photographer: Rajeev Thakur/ INDIAPICTURE/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Apocalyptic scenes open “The Ministry for the Future,” the latest novel by science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson. India is hit with a calamitous heatwave — one so sweltering, with humidity so high, that bodies struggle to sweat, and therefore to survive. Thousands die in the sun-heated waters of a lake where they had sought refuge. In the end, 20 million perish. 

Grappling with the upheaval and fury that follow, India breaks an international agreement governing climate engineering and injects vast quantities of sulfur particles into the atmosphere in a desperate attempt to cool the subcontinent. “Everyone knows, but no one acts,” an official says. “So we are taking matters into our own hands.”