… a book about people trying to solve problems created by people trying to solve problems
A few case studies of man setting out to fix his environment.
By zooming in on tiny fish and out to the entire stratosphere, it beautifully captures the staggering scope of climate change and its challenges. In highlighting the scientists and engineers working on it, the book offers a somewhat more hopeful picture of our possible future: less apocalyptic but still incredibly strange. See 99pi’s “Model Organism” for a taste.
The book also makes a strong case for being skeptical that we even can engineer our way out of climate change. While it nods to the “but what other choice do we have” counterargument, I hope that readers come away from this tension in the book more confident than ever in our need for decarbonization and I hope that readers won’t leap to even worse ideas than those highlighted in the book, such as fatalism or population control. As one character in the book memorably put it:
Pissing your pants will only keep you warm for so long.