The View From the 25th Floor

It has been just about a week since I returned from Hong Kong. Already my time there feels incredibly long ago, as if I am looking back at my memories across a vast open ocean. It is scary how quickly I have returned to my old routines, hanging out with my friends and walking the grounds of Tufts as if I never left. But there can be no denying that for almost 5 months, I lived a completely different life in Hong Kong. There is no way I can coherently or succinctly summarize what my time in HK has meant to me or the impact it has had on my life. Reading some of my previous posts (and future posts, I’m trying to play catch-up) might give you some kind of idea. But it truly is an experience that goes beyond words.

With Hong Kong already feeling so distant, I am glad I have my photographs to return to. No matter how much my memory might fade, my images will stick around. And as I look back through my photographs, one scene reappears again and again: the view out of my window on the 25th floor. I had never lived so high in the clouds, and I may never again. In the morning I would look down on the basketball courts and watch little figures practicing their tai chi. In the afternoon eagles glided in lazy circles past my window. And at night I listened to the chorus of invisible frogs that croaked from the dark shadow of Mount Davis. And despite the fact that I had access to that view every day, I continued to take pictures out my window, a testament to the beauty of the view. From the first morning I awoke in my dorm room to watch the morning sun light up Mount Davis and the distant harbor, to my last night when I looked out at the familiar glowing squares of light from the nearby apartments, the view out my window never failed to make me smile.

Over the years I have learned that if I continue to photograph something over and over, it must be something worth investigating. My teachers have always told me to keep shooting until the magic is gone and I am no longer interested in what is in front of my lens. That never happend with my view of Hong Kong from my dorm window, and I doubt it ever would.

Protests in Istanbul After Police Crackdown on Activists

The events in Istanbul have escalated incredibly quickly in the past few days, with a revolution now at hand. There are many interesting underlying stories about the protests, including the silence of the traditional media and the coverage of these events by internet sites like reddit and imgur. But what is most interesting to me is that all this started because the government was going to destroy one of the last remaining green spaces in the city to make room for a mall. Obviously the people of Turkey are angry about more than just the building of one more mall; they are fed up with the entire regime of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But it should not be overlooked that the last straw, the thing that pushed them over the edge, came when their last remaining park was threatened. It is symbolic, I believe, of increasing worldwide frustration with governments that continue to destroy natural environments and green spaces for the sake of development and urbanization. At the very least, it is a powerful message about what people truly value: open community space, fresh air, and a direct connection to the earth.

World

Activists agitating against the construction of a shopping mall in a park in Istanbul were violently dispersed by Turkish police. The move triggered mass protests in Turkey’s largest city as well as demonstrations elsewhere, now channeling widespread frustrations and anger with the rule of the government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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Experiencing a Local Tragedy From 8000 Miles Away

I’m not sure if any of this comes to a “point”, but I’m not getting any other work done and I don’t know how else to deal with the anger, confusion, depression, and anxiety that continue to flood my mind.

My roommate in Hong Kong woke me up at 7:28 Tuesday morning: “Will. Will! There was a bombing at the Boston Marathon.” My slumbering brain struggled to comprehend what he had said. Bombing? Just the night before I had wished good luck to my friends running the marathon (Jessie & Sarah you guys are badass), and expressed to my housemates just how much I wanted to join them on the sidelines to have a few beers and cheer on the runners. Less than 12 hours later I was frantically checking Facebook to see if they were alright.

A quick search assured me that Jessie and Sarah were safe and sound. They were both less than half a mile from the finish when the explosions went off. At first I was angry that they were robbed of the absolutely amazing experience of crossing the finish line after all their hard work. But my anger quickly faded to quiet and profound relief. But Jessie and Sarah were only 2 of over 50 runners that proudly wore the Tufts jersey on Monday, and my newsfeed was struggling to keep up as friends and peers looked for each other in real time. I watched in relief as my fellow Jumbos confirmed their safety and reached out to each other in support.

A message from my roommate/housemate of three years and best friend was a little more unnerving. He and his girlfriend had been at the finish line, standing next to the flags of the participating nations that were later pulled down in a frantic effort to get to the wounded. They had moved only “two minutes before” because it was too crowded and they could no longer see.

Another message from my close friend at Boston College was waiting on my phone. It read, “I’m ok along with everyone else I know.” The last two years I have gone to BC on Marathon Monday to cheer on the runners coming over heartbreak hill at mile 21. It has become a tradition and a highlight of my springs in Boston, despite my absence this year. The next message from Connor simply said “bombs dude.” I re-read that over and over (I still am). Bombs dude. Bombs. 

I was shaking, my stomach twisted into such tight knots that they are still unwinding. Here I was halfway around the world, waking up to messages from my best friends who had just narrowly escaped a terrible fate. More than that, it was a fate that just as easily could’ve belonged to me, or a fellow Tufts student, or to a loving parent. It is a fate that tragically caught up with over 100 people and their families on Boylston street on Monday afternoon.

Within 20 minutes of my rude awakening I had absorbed every piece of news and Facebook update I could find. But I kept re-reading and re-watching, transfixed by the utter unfathomable nature of what had happened. I still don’t think I will ever have a firm grasp on what occurred on Boylston Street that day. As I sat in class later that morning with Alvaro, another Tufts exchange student, I could see him doing the same: going back in time on Facebook, trying to keep track of all the people and the stories that were spilling off of his screen and occupying our thoughts.

Thank God for social media. This is not something I ever thought I would say. In general I feel that Facebook and Twitter distract and remove us from the real world. But that morning I could not be more grateful for Facebook. Grateful that in less then 10 minutes I could account for all the people who are near and dear to me and let out a giant sigh of relief, even as the uncertainties continued. It is inconceivable that I might have gone the whole day (and maybe more) without knowing that my friends were safe and unharmed. More than that, social media provided a way for me to essentially re-live the explosions as they happend. It made me feel as if I was there.

Yet as grateful as I am for the peace of mind that Facebook was able to bring me, it did not  substitute for truly being there. And at the end of the day, it is this disconnect that makes this event so difficult to comprehend, beyond its obvious tragic and unexpected nature. Boston has become my city. These were my friends, my peers, my role models out there running 26.2 miles in an event that has come to define springtime in Boston for me. The explosions on Boylston Street created a terrible scene of senseless destruction in my city and shook members of my community to the very core. And I am 8000 miles away.

One of my greatest fears of going abroad was that I would miss out on exciting weekends, inside jokes, and drunk escapades. But for the most part during my time here I have not really been homesick for Tufts. That all changed Tuesday morning. More than anything right now I want to be surrounded by my fellow Jumbos, to sit down and talk with them about what just happened, what it all means, and how we are involved. This event will leave a lasting mark on our college career and I am not sure yet what that mark is or how it will affect us. Despite the presence of other Tufts students here, I have never felt so alone, so far away, and so homesick during my time in Hong Kong as I do now.

My heart goes out to all those who were directly affected by these attacks, and those like myself who are trying to come to grips with what happened in the city we call home.

Why You Should Always Say Yes When Your Dad Wants to Go Skiing

As I’ve mentioned, there is always a time lapse that comes with shooting film, and it is one of the qualities that make it so rewarding. So for this post I’m going back almost 2 months to the end of december.

On December 30th, the last day of our Christmas vacation, my dad went skiing by himself. Usually, I am always jumping at the opportunity for one more ski day, especially when it’s just my dad and I. But for some reason on that day I turned him down, opting to go snowshoeing with my mother instead. Looking back, I’m reluctant to admit that maybe I was a bit spoiled by the first half of our vacation, which had been full of snow and relatively empty of people. Now that it was the other way around, I didn’t want to water down my trip with a day of mediocre skiing. I hate myself for thinking that way, because there really is no such thing as a “mediocre” day of skiing with your dad. I hate myself even more because while out by himself, my dad fell and tore his ACL.

My mom and I were about 10 minutes away from finishing our hike and meeting up with my father for lunch when he called in severe pain saying he fell and was about to pass out. Twenty minutes later we picked him up from the mountain, and although he was smiling and laughing, the laughter was terse and tinted with anxiety. At the hospital, we learned  that not only did my dad tear his ACL, he also completed what the doctor fondly called the triple crown: a torn ACL, a strained MCL, and a “buckled” PCL (how do you buckle a ligament? Gross).

As the doctor explained the diagnosis, I was impressed at my dad’s composure. He was clearly frustrated and angry, but I know that if it had been me, I would’ve been a wreck. Recovery from ACL surgery takes about six months.  All I could think about was how if I had gone with him none of this would’ve happened. That’s all I had been thinking about since the first phone call.

Back at home, the upcoming surgery dominated my father’s thoughts. He watched surgery videos on youtube (again, gross) and read about every surgery horror story and post-surgery disaster. He was scared; I would’ve been terrified. The original surgery was scheduled for after I left for Hong Kong, but my dad moved it up to the Friday before, and I was glad to be there for him. On a rainy cold friday in New York, my mom and I saw my dad into surgery. I met up with some friends while my mom remained at the hospital to wait. I tried to enjoy my last night out with friends that I wouldn’t see for months, but I was preoccupied by my dad’s progress, not to mention the weight of my impending flight across the world. It was a weird night, and in the end I was annoyed that I didn’t stick around to bring my dad home.

When I left two days later, my dad was still sleeping in the couch downstairs and was fighting to maintain clarity despite his narcotics. Being the oldest son (only son) I felt like I needed to stay and help, but I had a plane to Hong Kong to catch.

I took pictures throughout the whole ordeal but obviously missed some important moments (fresh out of surgery, the actual accident) and am currently missing the rehab process (my mom tells me he’s doing well). I can only hope my dad and I are skiing together again next winter; this time I will make sure not to miss any opportunities.

Trying to Keep Up

Life has been moving at a light-speed recently, and finding the time to blog has been hard. Because even the everyday “normal” things and activities are adventurous and new, it’s difficult to remember, let alone explain, all that happens.

Last Wednesday I did a short solo hike on a trail called Dragon’s Back, which follows the steep up-and-down coastline on the eastern side of Hong Kong Island. Getting to the trailhead required taking a bus, the subway, and then after a brief period of wandering around Shau Kei Wan finding the third bus that got me to the start of my hike. I thought I would get some weird looks on the subway, wearing my hiking boots and shorts and synthetic t-shirt, but because this is Hong Kong, no one paid any mind. Come to think of it, no one even gave a second glance to the girl in a bright red leather sleeveless dress (I think it was a dress), or the guy with the front half of his hair dyed electric blue. After watching the mirrors of the double-decker bus scrape the high concrete walls as the bus barreled around the edge of the mountain road, I was happy to be on my own two feet as I started up the steep trail. I immediately entered a small bamboo forest (casual) and then was thrust out into bright sunlight and humid air as I climbed up to Shek O peak.

I passed some young kids in jeans and flip-flops, carrying nothing but their cameras, and felt a little foolish looking down at my hiking boots and feeling the weight of my backpack on my back. But I soon forgot all about them as I reveled in the fresh air and the view of open sea and sky, especially after the last few weeks of skyscrapers, cramped buses, and sardine-can elevators. The views were spectacular, with the ocean and surrounding islands clearly visible and green peaks stretching on into the distance. The hike ended at a beautiful little beach, with locals surfing (or at least attempting to in the tiny waves). After a quick nap and some ice cream, I headed back to reality.

Hiking gave me some time to reflect on just how different my life has become since leaving home. Inevitably, I thought about a solo hike in western Massachusetts I had completed exactly 4 weeks before, only a few days before I had left for Hong Kong. That day I broke trail through over a foot and a half of snow, and saw only three people during my eight hours on the mountain. The silence was as deep as the snow and the cold air cleared my mind as I prepared for my journey halfway around the world.

As I stood on Shek O peak, sweating in the humid Hong Kong air and reliving the cold snowy peak of Greylock, I become all too aware of how much had happened in the short four weeks since that time, and how much more I will do while here. But beyond that, I realized that this was exactly the kind of thing I came to Hong Kong for – to put my life in perspective by experiencing the world from a new vantage point. Only by hiking in HK could I realize the valuable lessons learned from the hike that day in Massachusetts. As I continue to experience the world from my newfound vantage point, I hope I also continue to learn new things about myself and where I stand in the world.

Below are pictures from both hikes; enjoy!

Hong Kong

10 days ago I debarked a plane, bleary-eyed from spending 16 continuous hours trapped inside a metal tube that managed to be impressively large and sufficiently cramped at the same time. I had lost an entire day of my life, thanks to the mechanisms by which our earth rotates the sun. Yet that one lost day suddenly paled in comparison to the realization that I would spend the next 5 and a half months of my life in the place I had just arrived: Hong Kong.

Part of the reason it has taken me so long to sit down and write since I’ve arrived here is that for almost a year, the concept of studying abroad in HK was no more than a vague abstraction, a small speck on the horizon that I felt I would never actually get to. Perhaps that is why since moving into my dorm not a morning has gone by where I haven’t awoke with the sudden realization that this is indeed my current reality.

If I try really hard, sometimes I can convince myself I’m back in my room in Somerville, or even in a dorm room of a friend. But then I get out of bed and the view out my window (below) shatters any illusions that remain.

View from my WindowThis is not to say that I am unhappy. On the contrary, when I look out that window every morning, I cannot help but feel a smile creep onto my face as I shake my head in wonder. And I don’t think these feelings of awe will diminish any time in the near future.

Friends and family back home have asked me to describe Hong Kong. Well frankly, that is impossible. Even pictures, which I might even argue is my preferred medium of communicating the true nature of a place, cannot do HK justice. Sadly, this response does not please anyone, so I had to come up with something.

If you can imagine the tallest buildings in New York City, shoved them closer together on the side of a mountain that rises out of the ocean, and replaced the tidy grid of streets with raised highways and curving, circuitous roads filled with taxis, buses, mopeds, and 7 million people rushing around as fast as they can, you’re getting close. But you’re still missing the dull groan of traffic, the background ticking of the crosswalks that overlap each other to create syncopated city music, and the ever-present grinding of construction. Then there are are the medley of smells that will assault, if not overpower your nose. Many will make you stop and look around desperately for the source, trying to remember it for the next meal. Just as often you will cringe in horror as your eyes water and you swear you’ll never smell anything again.

Sometimes you turn a corner and there is a hill rising straight up into the sky with stairs so steep you don’t know why they even bothered. Random patches of overgrown vegetation and bamboo are common, and trees grow sideways between the buildings that threaten to block out the mountains. Mercedes, Ferraris, BMW’s and Porsches zoom around the minibuses. Old ladies walk tiny pomeranians and other floofy dogs down the crowded streets. On every corner someone is selling something they claim came from the ocean but you can’t figure out why anyone would want to put it anywhere near their mouth.

And even if you can imagine all that, you’re still not here.

There is much more for me to discuss, like elevator and escalator culture, the fact that people here might be more materialistic than in the U.S (at least some of them), struggling with chopsticks, and the memory-sucking blackhole that is LKF. Oh yeah and Hong Kong University, where I’m supposed to be studying for the semester…

Stay tuned.

If Money Was No Object

Although I am only halfway through my third year in college, already the prospect of life after school looms large. Not going to school was never an option for me. It was the “right” thing to do, as dictated by my family and society. Not to say I’m not glad I came; I love it here and I have learned so much. But when people ask what I want to do after school, I never know how to answer.

I know I am not alone in this sentiment – many kids before me have faced the same dilema, and many more will do so. But what really gets me is that I do know what I would like to do after school. I would love to explore the outdoors with my camera. That simple. I want to be the photographer on the expeditions that you read about in Outside Magazine. But then I think about all the things I do that require money, like developing my film. And eating. And the clothes I wear on hikes. And so I push those dreams to the back of my mind, telling myself that I’ll get a normal job first, to get the money, and then I’ll be able to follow my goals. But I don’t quite convince myself.

My dad studied film in college. He wanted to make movies and live in Paris. Then real life intervened. He accepted a job in the jewelry business because it was there. Over 20 years later and he hasn’t left. But he always tells me that the most important thing in life is to do what I love. My dad hates his job.

I’m afraid to go for it. I’m afraid of failing, of risking it all and losing. But more and more I realize that’s what it takes. I’ve included a video below by philosopher Alan Watts. He must love what he does, because he very beautifully grinds down this issue to a very simple idea:

“If you say that getting the money is the important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You will be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living to go on doing things you don’t like doing. Which is stupid.”

Watts asks us what we would do if money was no object, and urges us to follow what we love. Most importantly he points out that if you do what you love, you will become a master, and once you are a master of your craft, whether it is skiing or painting or writing poetry, you will be able to obtain a decent fee for your work. And he’s right. All it takes is the nerve to go for it and not give up when the goal seems impossibly out of reach. Corny, but true. Anyway, he says it much better than me, so check the video below and leave your comments.

Destroying a Childhood Swingset

For any psychology students out there, here’s a good one for you to analyze. In late August I went home to see my family and start preparing for the fall semester. Upon my arrival my parents put me to work around the house and in the yard. One of the jobs I was tasked with was dismantling the swingset that stood dejected in the corner of our yard. However, before we get into the act of destruction, here’s a little history.

My family is currently living in our third house, all of which have been in the same town and never more than 5 minutes away from each other. In fact, our current house is no more than a few hundred yards from the house I lived in until I was 10. It was in the backyard of that first house that this same swing set first showed up, towering above my tiny 4-year-old self. It had a shiny yellow slide and matching yellow swings. It had a tower with a telescope and a steering wheel, not to mention a rope ladder and monkey bars. There was even a sandbox underneath the tower. For my sister Chloe and I, it was where we spent a lot our time throughout elementary school.

I sailed that swingset across pirate-infested oceans. Chloe and I mastered the yellow swings and would try to launch ourselves as far as possible, resulting in a few injuries now and again. One time my aunt showed up at our house to find my mother asleep while my sister hung from the monkey bars unable to get down (apparently I was looking on from the ground smirking, but that’s not how I remember it). When it was hot I would hang out in the shady sandbox underneath and make earthworm cities. One year there was a cicada outburst (one of those 13 or 17-year cycles) and their empty skins covered the swingset for weeks before Chloe would go back on the monkey bars.

When we moved to our second home I entered middle school but would still play on it from time to time. At that point I had two more little sisters who also got much use out of the now fading yellow swings. Upon moving to our current house, our childhood relic began to break down. One too many of my friends sat on the wooden horse swing and broke it. My sisters and I got older and a swingset was no place for a high school student. Soon the swingset was just part of the scenery; by the time I left for college I barely even noticed it.

Fast-forward to the hot August day when I approached my childhood swingset for the last time. The yellow slide was bleached almost white, the swings close behind. There was no longer any sand underneath the tower, and the ropes were all fraying badly. I tried standing on the first rung of the ladder and the wood promptly snapped underfoot. A second try broke the next rung the same way. My dad and I tried to loosen a a couple of screw and bolts but quickly realized they were frozen, rusted shut in the wood. Any conventional disassembly was out of the question now. So my dad handed me the old wooden hatchet from our garage, the one he received from his dad many years before the swingset or I existed.

What followed was a surreal experience that was both physically and mentally tiring. At first I didn’t really think about what I was doing because the physical act of destruction can be therapeutic and enjoyable, especially when you’re handed a hatchet and told to go wild. The only rule was that the pieces had to be small enough to fit in the back of our truck. With great enthusiasm I started chopping at the right side post and it quickly gave in to the metal of my hatchet. Now I turned my attention to the left side where the tower was and attempted to detach the other side of the monkey bars. It wasn’t quite so easy. I attacked the crossbeam on either side of the monkey bars and after about 15 minutes the bars came free. I had climbed into the tower to gain a better angle and I suddenly realized how comically large I was compared to the rotting infrastructure around me.

I continued my mission, becoming more and more aware of the symbolic nature of my act. Memories of the swingset came flooding back as I raised my hatchet high above my head over and over. Every resounding “thwack” reminded me that my childhood was something I’d never get back. Taking apart the tower itself was more difficult, and my hands were beginning to blister from gripping the old wooden handle. When I wasn’t trying to take down the tower I would return to the pile of debris and hack it into ever smaller pieces. My shoulders began to ache. I wiped the sweat out of my eyes. My childhood was refusing to go down without a fight.

By the end all that remained were the splintered ends of a once proud structure. The only thing that was left intact was the plastic slide, which lay on it’s side like a beached whale. We packed it all into the car and drove it to the dump. And then it was gone. I went home and carried on with my day. What else could I do?

I took some pictures of this event, which I realize now was a performance in which I was the actor. I wish I documented it better. I only have a few frames from about mid-way in the performance. At first I was angry with myself for being so complacent in what was certainly the metaphorical death of my childhood. But now I can’t help but think that I’ll never forget this event and therefore all the memories attached to it. The past will always be important for us to learn from and look back on, but we are not meant to dwell on what has been. My childhood swingset lasted almost 15 years, and it would’ve kept standing around if I didn’t take it down myself. But perhaps this symbolic act was necessary. I like to believe that my swingset had to die so that one day I’ll be able to build a brand new one for my own children.

9-eyes

Everyone knows about google street view, Google’s project of creating a panoramic view from every possible point on Google Maps. The project, which started in 2007, uses cars, bicycles, trolleys, and snowmobiles with cameras and GPS devices mounted to each vehicle as they traverse the globe. Pretty amazing if you think about it, and just another example of Google’s huge presence in our world. From a photography point of view it’s fascinating because the aesthetic and strategy is very similar to street photography, except that in this case the camera is entirely neutral and is merely responding to a predetermined set of directions. There is no human bias that decides when the pictures are being taken. This makes Jon Rafman’s hand-picked collection of street view photographs all the more interesting.  In his website 9-eyes, he presents a lengthy string of these incredible photographs, which document everything from wild horses to prostitutes and much much more. The images Rafman has put together show great natural beauty and surprising human moments, if not sometimes both in the same frame. In one picture a tiny baby has been apparently left alone in front of a Gucci store. In another, a very slow moving man shows up twice in the same frame, a result of the software which puts the pictures together. There are several pictures of drug busts and car crashes, and just as many have people giving the middle finger or showing their bare asses. There is much to be said about these photographs, but what I like to believe is that this project shows something inherently powerful and beautiful about the practice of photography. That even when it is essentially a random, mechanized process, a camera still has the ability to show us something wonderful, something tragic, something poignant and revealing. On the other hand, perhaps this only enforces the idea that there are no “artists” in photography, only button-pushers. Whatever the case, it will be interesting to see how the concept of photography as art continues to develop.

UPDATE: Time’s Lightbox website posted a short article and series of photos from artists who use google street view in their work, including Rafman’s 9eyes project. Just remember you read it here first!

Geoengineering

What is geoengineering you might ask? Well depends who you’re asking. Some call it climate intervention, others remediation. The bottom line, however, is that geoengineering is deliberate human intervention on a global scale to mitigate the effects of climate change. There are multiple techniques of geoengineering, I will cover two here.

First is Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR), which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. The strategy is to remove CO2 from the atmosphere and store it somewhere else. This is called sequestering. There are a couple options when it comes to CDR. The most logical and low-risk is to make a fundamental change in land use management. Trees naturally remove CO2 from the atmosphere, so if communities around the world gave preference to trees over development, we could take back some of the carbon dioxide we’ve released into the atmosphere. Sadly, it’s not that simple. First of all, trees take a long time to grow, and people are impatient. Additionally, in capitalistic societies (like the U.S) trees don’t make you rich, building more factories and developing real estate does.

The next type of CDR is air capture. This is the idea that we could build machines that extract CO2 from the atmosphere and then store it. Direct air capture has been proven to work effectively, taking in “dirty” air and pumping out “clean” air, but once again the story isn’t so simple. These machines would have to be huge. Like, ridiculously huge and unsightly (see below). Not to mention that they will use equally large amounts of energy, contributing to the related problem of energy usage.

There are many other suggested techniques of CDR, including biochar, and carbon capture storage, but I’m trying to keep this compact.

After CDR there is Ocean Iron Fertilization, an interesting idea first formed by John Martin that takes advantage of the natural system of the biological pump found in our oceans. The strategy is as follows: The ocean is filled with phytoplankton, which are tiny marine organisms that use photosynthesis to take in CO2 from the water (which is absorbed from the air) and break it down. The ability of phytoplankton to grow larger and break down CO2 is limited by iron, a mineral that arrives to the ocean as fine dust particles. Studies of arctic ice cores have shown that there is an inverse relationship between iron dust and CO2 in the atmosphere, leading scientists to believe that when there is more iron abundant in the oceans, phytoplankton bloom mightily and remove a fair amount of CO2 from the global atmosphere. So, scientists have gotten it in their head that if they dumped a whole bunch of iron in the oceans, they could trigger phytoplankton growth and subsequent CO2 removal. Seem to simple to be true? That’s cause it is. A few of these experiments have been carried out with very limited success. Plus there’s the issue that iron doesn’t just grow on trees, nor is it cheap to ship it to the middle of the ocean And thirdly, although the ocean is the largest sink of Carbon on our planet, it eventually releases it back into the atmosphere, making ocean fertilization a temporary fix.

There are other geoengineering techniques such as solar radiation management and stratospheric sulfate aerosols. All of these actions have their own benefits and each have serious drawbacks and potential consequences attached to them. I’ve mentioned some here, but this is a surface explanation, there are components which I have excluded for simplicity and brevity. In my opinion, these techniques should be approached with serious caution, because they are all reactionary, not preventative. If we allow the general public to believe that these technologies will solve the problems currently affecting Earth, it will be tragic. We need to continue to develop ideas to stop global warming in the first place, and maybe then geoengineering can be used as a complement. It is also important to note that these technologies would not spring up overnight – they require extensive planning, funds, and cooperation from many disciplines and governing bodies. Lastly, I just do not like the idea of man trying to tinker with global forces. When will we learn that the forces of nature are much stronger than us?