The ethical dilemma of geoengineering forms the basis for the later chapters, and as one would expect, Hamilton does a superb job of drawing out the more subtle implications of environmental implications. Of particular concern is that, regardless of any potential damaging impacts, geoengineering solutions - the "quick-fix" appears to be politically easier to handle than emissions cutting and other much safer mitigations. In addition, our efforts to find an “easy” solution have caused us to lose precious and limited time that could have been spent reducing emissions. We risk subsuming the ability to work with the environment and curb our outrageous hunger and desire for growth to “a lobby that unites fossil fuel corporations opposed to carbon reduction policies with investors in geoengineering technologies”.
Earth Masters concludes by suggesting that geoengineering may well be inevitable. Though this is, as presented by Hamilton, a frightening prospect, he advocates that at the very least, we go forward with our eyes wide open. Earth Masters goes a fair way towards that. Though there is certainly no ease from climate fear or sugar coating of the dangers that the future holds, what Hamilton has written is an important book that brings the general public into a hitherto ‘science and corporations only’ debate. The sooner the general public can see beyond the lobbying of politically charged interest groups, the more balanced those debates will be, and the more likely we are to find a solution that won't leave us in more trouble than we are already in.