Freeman Dyson weighs in on global warming and the increase in atmospheric carbonaceous gas. His thoughts on policy and solutions are well worth reading. Just a taste here:
Carbon-eating trees could convert most of the carbon that they absorb from the atmosphere into some chemically stable form and bury it underground. Or they could convert the carbon into liquid fuels and other useful chemicals. Biotechnology is enormously powerful, capable of burying or transforming any molecule of carbon dioxide that comes into its grasp. Keeling's wiggles prove that a big fraction of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere comes within the grasp of biotechnology every decade. If one quarter of the world's forests were replanted with carbon-eating varieties of the same species, the forests would be preserved as ecological resources and as habitats for wildlife, and the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would be reduced by half in about fifty years.
Dyson is certainly correct that biotechnology is going to change our lives more than any other in the coming years, more than computers, certainly more than any industrial technology, and his thoughts on politics (the idea that China and India are going to cut emissions and go back to a 1970s economy is ludicrous) and technology make most of the people arguing about this problem look rather short-sighted. But then, scientists of the "great man" type like Dyson seem to be a rarer breed these days.
(Via Mike Rappaport, who seems surprised that the New York Review of Books would print this, but I disagree. The NYROB crowd may be Marxists and statists more inclined toward top-down bureaucratic ideas like Kyoto than any genuinely inventive solutions, but Dyson has a history with them and anyway they're not dumb Marxists and statists. No sane editor would turn down the opportunity to publish an intellect as intimidating as Dyson.)