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Topic Title: E&T Magazine - Debate - Should engineers consider playing God to control the environment?
Topic Summary: Should engineers consider playing God to control the environment?
Created On: 25 April 2012 09:43 AM
Status: Read Only
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 25 April 2012 09:43 AM
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jpwilson

Posts: 60
Joined: 16 May 2007

For:
Yes, engineers should consider playing God, using geo-engineering to control the environment.

Against:
No, engineers should not consider playing God, using geo-engineering to control the environment.
 25 April 2012 09:42 PM
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dperton

Posts: 3
Joined: 24 June 2003

Yes, if the environment can be controlled and it will save lives why would we not do it, global warming will cause famine & flood. we could not have the technology and stand ideally by while people died that would be immoral and unethical

If it is not the engineers who play god, who will? The accountants, the politicians? I think I prefer to trust engineers.

As an atheist I am not expecting god to step in, but to those believers I would say your beliefs are that god gave man free will, to use the gifts he gave you, for good or bad, rather than do good himself, thus he would want us to step in.
 25 April 2012 10:02 PM
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BryanLeyland

Posts: 44
Joined: 09 November 2001

The whole debate is based on the assumption that man-made carbon dioxide causes dangerous global warming. It doesn't.

The world has not warmed significantly in the last 10 to 15 years and this proves that carbon dioxide does not cause dangerous global warming. Over that period, carbon dioxide levels have risen steadily and the temperature has remained steady. All the evidence points to the fact that the world is headed for a cooling phase. History tells us that cooling is bad and warming is good.

The only evidence in favour of global warming is the predictions of fundamentally flawed computer programs that have never been validated. No properly educated engineer should have a bar of them.

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BryanLeyland
 10 May 2012 10:58 PM
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farhandxb

Posts: 2
Joined: 25 July 2008

I will not vote as I feel the manner in which the question/poll is framed is morally and ethically unsound. Framing it in such emotive terms: "Playing God" detracts from the underlying argument. You will definitely get a "Yea" or "Nay" but without the necessary dialogue due to peoples moral/religious convictions.

If the question is one of changing our environment for our betterment; I find the premise no different from the one of man carving out hunting knives or mastering fire. Was that "Playing God"?

What is more of concern to me is the question of whether and how well the scientific community has learnt to gauge the law of unintended consequences. What may seem to have a direct and positive benefit right now may turn out to be a very bad idea in the long run.

My two cents on "geo-engineering" is that starts with trimming down our consumption habits and being more responsible with our limited resources. I also believe that the earth has a self correcting mechanism which makes our efforts in either direction (destruction or restoring) quite insignificant (take for example the volcano eruption cited in the article).

I firmly support sustainable, well thought out and sincere efforts in correcting our carbon emission mistakes but am wary of hyped up media reports of the next "scientific breakthrough" which will suddenly make everything alright.

Geo-engineering may yet be another buzzword which the marketing world will latch on to for the sake of profits and nothing else.
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