June 27, 2006
Shades for a Planet
Add a new word to your lexicon: geoengineering - the idea of deliberately altering the earth's natural systems (as opposed to the unintended altering humanity has always done).
Today's New York Times features an article (How to Cool a Planet, Maybe) on the idea of massive programs to alter the reflectivity of the atmosphere and the oceans as a counter to the global warming effect of greenhouse gases.
Let's not give up on conservation just yet.
On the other side of the equation, the Supreme Court has just agreed to take up the question of whether the Federal Government should regulate carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas # 1) under the Clean Air Act.
June 27, 2006 2:05 PM
As it says in the article, let's hope it never comes to this. Most of the proposals are just downright irresponsible.
* Fighting global warming by injecting sulfur into the atmosphere, which will cause acid rain as a byproduct -- not helpful.
* Erecting a giant sunshade to prevent sunlight from hitting the planet and warming it up so much -- yeah, and what about the, say, wine & tomato industries, which rely on plenty of sunlight to ripen their crops?
* Seeding the oceans with iron to cause algae blooms & remove carbon from the atmosphere -- OK, perhaps not such a bad idea, but what about planting trees & other vegetation across more of the earth's surface, that is, reversing the trend of declining vegetative cover?
Still, good food for thought, that is, the idea that it might be a good idea to vet all the crazy ideas and see if any of them might eventually turn into a workable "Plan B" to combat global warming. ... without destroying some other aspect of the planet in the process...
June 28, 2006 6:28 AM
I can't read the article right now--but geoengineering scares the hell out of me.
Let's fix the root problems and worry about the symptoms afterward.
I'm all for planting trees and working with nature...but I draw my line at f*cking with the only planet we have