Thursday, April 09, 2009

Clouded Thinking on Geo-Engineering

Have you heard that the president's new Science Adviser is talking about shooting pollution into the upper atmosphere as a sort of “geo-engineering” to counter global warming?
What kind of alchemy is this?

John Holdren says one of the ideas being considered, shooting pollution particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun's rays, would be a last resort as scientists look at several "tipping points" involving global warming he and his colleagues believe could be fast approaching.
These guys believe that once such milestones are reached, such as complete loss of summer sea ice in the Arctic, for example, the chances of "really intolerable consequences" are increased.
Here we go--the fear-mongering is revving-up so that Your Government can swoop-in to Save You.

I don’t think these people can have it both ways: First we’re being told we’re going to start having to pay for the carbon we spew into the atmosphere because that’s causing global warming…and now these eggheads are talking about spewing pollutants up there to reflect the sun’s rays?

Apparently, Mr. Holdren is not the only one who might be a half-bubble off-kilter: The National Academy of Science is making climate tinkering the subject of its first workshop in its new multidiscipline climate challenges program.

Climate Tinkering: Is that one of those new jobs our kids are preparing for that doesn’t yet exist, but will, in the future? Can't you just imagine the small talk at dinner parties of the future:

"My kid’s a doctor." Knowing nods.
"My kid’s a lawyer." Knowing smirks.
"My kid’s a Climate Tinkerer." Oooohhh.

The British Parliament has also discussed the idea of tweaking the environment, and the American Meteorological Society is crafting a policy statement that says "it is prudent to consider geoengineering's potential, to understand its limits and to avoid rash deployment."

Here’a policy statement for you knuckleheads to consider: “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.”

One Nobel laureate has suggested "creating an artificial volcano to inject particulates into the air, which could have grave side effects, and would not completely solve all the problems from soaring greenhouse gas emissions." (Isn’t that the scenario geologists use to explain how dinosaurs came to be extinct—some ancient Krakatoa blew its stack, enveloped the earth in a cloud of ash, and T-Rex froze to death.)

Another geoengineering option that has been mentioned: Using artificial trees to suck carbon dioxide out of the air and store it.
If these Mensa’s are really serious about addressing global warming, they need to go to the source: Mount up an expedition to explore the sun…just be sure you go at night.

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