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by Lasthorseman on Thu Apr 9th, 2009 at 12:09:35 PM EST
If I remember well, the Russians aired an idea a couple of years ago to launch a solar umbrella into outer space, position it between the sun and the earth, and manage the flow of photons to earth by increasing or decreasing the umbrella's opaqueness.
by vladimir on Thu Apr 9th, 2009 at 12:38:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Climate engineering, you say?

Science Adviser Lays Out Climate and Energy Plans

John Holdren, President Obama's science adviser, began speaking to the media on Wednesday for the first time. The Associated Press emphasized some statements he made in support of testing ways to counteract global warming through what has become known as " geo-engineering" -- emergency interventions to cool the atmosphere should less drastic measures fail. Dr. Holdren said that the Associated Press article implied incorrectly that this strategy for climate management was under serious consideration at the White House. This is not the case, he said in an email distributed to a variety of scientists and other contacts last night:

    I said that the approaches that have been surfaced so far seem problematic in terms of both efficacy and side effects, but we have to look at the possibilities and understand them because if we get desperate enough it will be considered. I also made clear that this was my personal view, not Administration policy. Asked whether I had mentioned geo-engineering in any White House discussions, though, I said that I had. This is NOT the same thing as saying the White House is giving serious consideration to geo-engineering - which it isn't -- and I am disappointed that the headline and the text of the article suggest otherwise.

Dr. Holdren's support for research on geo-engineering aligns him with Ralph Cicerone, the president of the National Academy of Sciences, who told The Times in 2006, "We should treat these ideas like any other research and get into the mind-set of taking them seriously." Their notion is to have a "Plan C" if emissions trajectories are not bent downward and the higher end of warming projections comes to pass. (Join the geo-engineering googlegroup to track daily discussions on this question.)

But this is a charged issue for many environmentalists and some scientists (including Jane Lubchenco, the new under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere) who oppose such interventions with nature because they could produce unintended harms, falsely imply that we can engineer our way out of any problem or blunt efforts to cut emissions of greenhouse gases at the source.

Can you say "EMERGENCY"?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Apr 9th, 2009 at 07:31:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A commenter at ClubOrlov:
I'd rather take my chances with potential runaway climate change than these climate engineering experiments. When reading about such plans I can almost sympathise with more extreme environmentalists who believe a total sudden collapse of industrial civilization is the only long range hope for humanity. (I suspect we will actually get a slow, orwellian collapse, looking more like max headroom (initially) than mad max.)
by das monde on Fri Apr 10th, 2009 at 04:49:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

1925 - The Hollow Men - T.S. Eliot

by vladimir on Fri Apr 10th, 2009 at 05:29:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And then the following illustration (h/t Fran in the March 31 Salon) of how a complex system responds to forcing
According to Indian and German researchers, an experiment that involved dumping tons of dissolved iron into the Southern Ocean does not appear to be a viable way to prevent global warming.


The iron stimulated growth of planktonic algae called phytoplankton, which researched had hoped would absorb and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

But the scientists from India's National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) and Germany's Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) did not expect the phytoplankton to be eaten by crustacean zooplankton.

Most economists teach a theoretical framework that has been shown to be fundamentally useless. -- James K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Apr 10th, 2009 at 04:57:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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