If it ain’t drought and fire here in the West or storm and flood in the Southeast, its ocean acidification and a probable increase in speed of the global water cycle, a pretty sensitive indicator of climate change.
All this exciting development into how to engineer combustible fuels out of rocks makes it possible to continue our current fossil fueled economic paradigm, but kicks down the road the question of what that will do to atmospheric and ocean chemistry and climate (oceans are a huge buffer for heat, CO2, and climate change deniers). It will ultimately be someone else's problem (I don't have any kids), if the worst case happens but being an earth scientist, I can't help but wonder why we don't take the warnings more seriously.
Any way you look at it from a global economic and climate perspective, we live at the behest of Ma Nature. When was the last time anyone you know enthusiastically welcomed you back to their home when all you did was fart and belch all the time? Even Ma would have to suck it up and then say hello. That is a pretty good metaphor to the present day level of mining and burning of fossil fuels. We don’t even try to be polite any more.
Charlie Komanoff, in a 2005 piece, writes about "The Need for More Cyclists" More cycling seems to be a cure for just about any of society's ills--as long as the bicycle is ridden out of that garage rather than carried on a roof rack. I ride my bike because I like to ride my bike. But there is a bit of synergy there with Gaia: "The bicycle offers the gains of advanced technology without threatening the environment. It stands not only for undamaged nature but also for unbroken autonomy. To attack the pedals may be strenuous over the short run, but it is an expression of trust in one’s own powers, for with the bicycle everything depends on the self. Those who wish to control their own lives and move beyond existence as mere clients and consumers — those people ride a bike"
Wolfgang Sachs, For Love of the Automobile: Looking Back Into the History of Our Desires.
p.s. Thanks, as usual, to one of my mentors, Charlie Komanoff, leading to the expansion of this post.