I was listening to the radio the other day and it was broadcasting from an earth and atmospheric sciences conference, they where describing how they felt that applied science had reached a point at which it had far, far outstriped humanity's wildest expectations, however, that the possibilities where becoming so, so radical that the applications were becoming limited purely by virtue of how radical they are.
For instance, one environmental scientist explained how with precise information and technics it would be possible for the global climate and atmosphere to be controlled and manipulated to produce desired results, specifically he was talking about pollution management and reductions. However he stated that the unprecidented amount of concerted, probably centralised, efforts necessary and the power entailed to whoever was controlling the switches and levers of such technology was so great that he felt politically people may choose to live a simpler less pollution lifestyle in preference to roling out this sort of atmospheric controls.
I'm not optimistic about that, individuals may be smart but people are dumb and will continue to behave how they always have believing someone else is cutting back so why should they and their pollution is nominal compared to corporations or governments(it probably is) until such a point were atmospheric controls are necessary for survival.
Although I do think its pretty radical, even if it doesnt turn out to be something like the control of oxygen and atmosphere the corporate dictator in Total Recall exercised on Mars its still pretty massive. Imagine a future in which a central authority with atmospheric controls was hijacked, hacked or simply became fascist and decided that they no longer felt certain population centres or nations were worthy of survival, boom, with tsunamis or whatever they wipe them the hell out, devastating.
Now the news of the hijacking of simple environmental science, such as cloud seeding with silver iodine, had been happening since about the time of the Chernobyl meltdown and was (and probably still is) used as a weapon in the Cold War was enough to alarm me. This is way beyond that and I'd suspect there is a race on to see which nation can weaponise and role out the technology fast enough to beat the rest.
What's everyone's views, could this be the way to some sort of one world future like Star Trek or just the road to a disasterous reset of world civilisations to stone age conditions?