I know perfectly well that we can't do anything about a problem if we don't study it.
Thing is, I also think that "Is global warming happening?" is the wrong question to ask.
The right question is, "Should we do something about it?" No matter how sure you are about your answer to the first question, you could be wrong, and you have to factor that possibility into your answer to the second question. So consider the matrix of possibilities:
Yes, I know that oversimplifies things. The weighting on each column isn't necessarily the same, depending on whether you think it's happening or not. But you'll need incredibly strong evidence against global warming before you can ignore that bottom right cell, because its consequences are so grave. It outweighs the other cells entirely.
* Also we have to spend the money sooner or later anyway because fossil fuels are nonrenewable.
|In fact terraforming is environmental engineering on steroids, so saying we need to terraform the earth to solve global warming is like saying we need to use calculus to solve an algebraic equation.|
|Another issue- what if say Canada decides it wants a warmer environment while Australia and India prefer to cool it down? Eco-warfare?|
It is really a terrifying idea.
That said, it's is a last-ditch effort that is worth looking into, but no more than that. Planning to do nothing until it's too late to do anything else, and then betting that such a strategy will work perfectly with no significant side effects is insane.
It's as bad as, "I know we're running out of food, but I'm fairly certain that I can make food out of raw sewage, so we shouldn't bother planting anything."
The appropriate adage here is "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."