Now for what’s disturbing about Specter’s piece (beyond the subject itself!): it essentially bypasses all of the decidedly sane responses to the climate crisis that haven’t really been tried yet — like, say, carbon pricing, massively increased investments in clean energy technologies (both deployment and R&D), and real global commitments on both emissions and adaptation — in favor of the far sexier “true Sci-Fi” angle of geoengineering. As an attention-getter, fine. It works. But as a “Serious” treatment of the climate crisis? Can’t we at least talk about the other stuff — the stuff that would jump-start a transition away from fossil fuels, with all deliberate speed — before we trot out geoengineering again? (At least Specter’s treatment is better than that found in SuperFreakonomics, which his colleague Kolbert eviscerated in a 2009 review.) And given that a whole lot of climate change is already “locked in,” shouldn’t we be talking about the immediate necessity of adaptation — “managing the unavoidable” — especially in the poorest and most vulnerable parts of the world, before we talk about last-ditch gambles? It strikes me as another form of avoiding the real subject.