In the face of an escalating global environmental crisis, Peter Fiekowsky’s book, “Climate Restoration,” emerges as a visionary guide offering pragmatic solutions to address climate change. Fiekowsky, a physicist and entrepreneur, delves into the urgent need for a proactive approach to climate restoration and outlines a compelling roadmap for a sustainable future.
In his book “Climate Restoration”, Peter Fiekowsky, an MIT-educated physicist and engineer, presents an invigorating and thought-provoking plan to address climate change. The book, co-authored with Carole Douglis, has been lauded for its effective and galvanizing approach.
Fiekowsky’s mission in life is “to leave a world we’re proud of to our children”. In his book, he explains why we need to do more than the Paris Agreement suggests if we want to save humanity and the planet. However, he also ensures that his readers see that there is plenty of room for optimism.
Fiekowsky argues that the goals set in the Paris Agreement don’t go far enough to protect the future of humanity. He insists on the urgent necessity of climate restoration. The Paris Agreement was designed to limit the “worst effects” of climate change, which became the basis for the goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. However, Fiekowsky argues that until about 100 years ago humans have always lived in a world where atmospheric CO2 levels remained below 300 ppm (parts per million).
Keeping this in mind, Fiekowsky outlines two potential futures. In one scenario, we fast forward to 2050 and the goals of the Paris Accords on climate change are achieved. Nevertheless, the global level of atmospheric CO2 still surpasses by 50% the highest level that humans have experienced. The popular discourse rarely mentions this scenario.
Fiekowsky presents an alternate solution: replace “climate action” with “climate restoration,” which has as its goal the reduction of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere to preindustrial levels. He discusses tactics like using “marine permaculture” (vast seaweed farms), shunting CO2 to the infinite sink of the oceans, and something he calls enhanced atmospheric methane oxidation.
The book is not just a theoretical exploration but also provides practical strategies for implementation. Fiekowsky invites us to acknowledge the potentially uncomfortable experience of cognitive dissonance so that we can look at the data he is offering with an open mind—his work details not only the theoretical validity of the steps proposed but also their workability.
“Climate Restoration” is a call to action, urging us to do more than just limit the worst effects of climate change. It presents a roadmap for a future where we restore the climate to a state that is proven safe for humanity.
Fiekowsky explains in Climate Restoration that removing a trillion tons of excess CO2 from the atmosphere will be required. The enormous and technically challenging task, thankfully, is eminently feasible. Scientists and engineers have developed four main technologies for the removal and storage of greenhouse gases: Ocean iron fertilization; synthetic limestone manufacture; seaweed permaculture; and methane oxidation.
Fiekowsky shows that these technologies are safe and practical-and, even more remarkable, that they require little if any government funding, since they can be financed largely through existing markets. For these reasons, they have enormous promise as vehicles for achieving climate restoration.
The global climate crisis continues to spiral out of control and it’s time to have tough conversations about what it will really take to create a healthy future for humanity. Climate Restoration aims to inspire those conversations and ultimately provoke the actions we must take to ensure a livable planet for future generations.
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