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Climate Engineering As US Policy?

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the get-in-there-and-fix-it dept.

Earth 355

EricTheGreen writes "The Associated Press has an article featuring Obama administration science advisor John Holdren discussing potential climate engineering responses to global warming. Among the possible approaches? His own version of Operation Dark Storm — shooting micro-particulate pollution high into the atmosphere to reflect the sun's rays. I'm sure the rest of the world would have no issue with that at all, of course. Yikes ..."

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It doesn't matter... (4, Insightful)

feepness (543479) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513139)

...what the rest of the world says. Bush made it policy that the US acts unilaterally when the administration believes it is in our best interest.

As Obama has made clear with warrantless wiretapping, he intends to hold onto Bush's powers.

Re:It doesn't matter... (0, Offtopic)

hedwards (940851) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513189)

Nice trolling there.

First off, wiretapping has absolutely nothing to do with this topic.

Second off this is nowhere near implemented policy.

But then again why bother to think things through when it's much more fun to make fun of the US. I mean it's not like the rest of the world depends upon us to actually get things done.

Whis is Slashdot going to address that story? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27513433)

The one where the NEW government lawyers are making the EXACT same arguments regarding "wiretapping" that Bush's lawyers made?

You know, the way Slashdot would run it and duplicate it all the time just a few short months ago?

Gee, what happened? What could have caused Slashdot and the Slashtards to suddently stop rabidly attacking that government policy?

BECAUSE THE GOD DAMNED GOVERMENT POLICY HASN'T CHANGED ONE BIT!

THE DATE US TROOPS WILL LEAVE IRAQ? THE SAME DAMNED DATE *BUSH* SET!

Re:It doesn't matter... (5, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513435)

Nice trolling there.

He's not trolling. He's just being uneducated when he thinks Bush the second started the practice.

-jcr (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27513711)

Hi, I'm a gay nigger that always signs his posts!

-jcr

Re:It doesn't matter... (2, Interesting)

marco.antonio.costa (937534) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513699)

But then again why bother to think things through when it's much more fun to make fun of the US. I mean it's not like the rest of the world depends upon us to actually get things done.

It really doesn't. Unless by 'things' you mean inflationary bubbles.

Meta-government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27513227)

The world sure could use a distributed, online, citizen-driven, meta government to organize this sort of issue. And wouldnt you know, one is forming: http://www.metagovernment.org/ [metagovernment.org]

Re:It doesn't matter... (0)

flyingsled (1475035) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513361)

In Soviet Russia, climate controls YOU!

Re:It doesn't matter... (1)

bgray54 (1207256) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513407)

Please let it go. We have a whole new administration to whine about.

Re:It doesn't matter... (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513547)

...what the rest of the world says. Bush made it policy that the US acts unilaterally when the administration believes it is in our best interest.

And it doesn't occur to anyone that maybe humanity shouldn't be playing God is not such a good idea when every fucking decision we make is purely for profit? Just read up on genetically modified corn and all the possible health implications that are left out of the mainstream media.

Re:It doesn't matter... (4, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513735)

Well, we can't leave playing god in God's hands. Nature has no particular desire to keep Earth habitable for man; that's something we need to take control of.

Riiiight (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513143)

Let's test it on Venus first.

Re:Riiiight (1, Insightful)

Roger W Moore (538166) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513277)

Why? We've been trying to change the climate on Earth for the past 100 years or so to be more like Venus.

What Happened to Separation of Church & State? (0, Flamebait)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513445)

The Global Warming Cult is going to be using my tax dollars to build this high-tech altar? Doesn't seem kosher to me...

Venus has way too much CO2 (2, Funny)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513549)

Venus's atmosphere has a few magnitudes more CO2 than the earth. So far the most workable modern plan for terraforming Venus would involve creating a sun shield to freeze the planet, then launch a bunch of CO2 blocks into space.

Re:Riiiight (2, Insightful)

Afforess (1310263) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513621)

That's actually not a bad idea, considering that Venus is in many ways similar to earth. Venus's average temperature is 461 Celsius, so it would be ideal for testing the injection of micro-particles into the atmosphere.

Matrix (4, Funny)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513145)

Nice way to conmemorate the 10th year since that movie... scorching the skies as Morpheus said, just that "the machines", this time, are just spambots.

Re:Matrix (2, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513701)

It's just a preemptive strike.

negative spin much? (0)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513149)

Wow, ya think the self-destructing AP PR machine could put anymore negative spin on this article?

An official of an administration that was voted in for "change" has suggested something different to the status quo - which, on climate change, seems to be "let's wait and see" - shock!

When shit gets bad enough people will finally start calling for solutions. Let's have some ready. Hopefully it won't be too late by then.

Re:negative spin much? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27513199)

I'll tell you what Nathan Lewis at Caltech says about ideas like this. I'm sure they are included in the talk/seminars he has on his webpage. The climate is a massive machine we don't fully understand that we need to live. Now you want to walk up and turn a fairly random knob really hard?

Re:negative spin much? (1, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513431)

It also happens to be slowly spinning out of control. Do you want to try to understand it and fix it now, or when you're having trouble breathing?

Re:negative spin much? (3, Insightful)

JorDan Clock (664877) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513635)

Spinning out of control? How can we make such a judgement without understanding how it works? Plus, fixing something you don't understand is pretty much guess work and luck.

Re:negative spin much? (1)

bane2571 (1024309) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513751)

oh no! the spinning top is slowing down, quick poke it with a stick. Doing something that *might* work is just as likely to make things worse as better when you really have little idea of what is going on in the first place. 50 or so years of real data backed up by extrapolated data that may or may not be accurate is not a good reason to blow a cloud of shiny dust into the air when climate patterns of the scale people are afraid of take millenia to develop.

Re:negative spin much? (1)

ElectricRook (264648) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513779)

or when you're having trouble breathing?
Euel Gibbons's "Lack of oxygen scare" played out in the 70s - We're still here and breathing fine thanks.
And about monkey'n with the atmospheric machine -
Das machine is nicht fur der fingerpoken und mittengrabben. Is easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und popencorken mit spitzen sparken.
www.joke-archives.com/oddsends/achtung.html

Re:negative spin much? (1, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513461)

"When shit gets bad enough people will finally start calling for solutions."

Yes, but will anyone listen?

"One warning sign that a dangerous warming is beginning in Antarctica, will be a breakup of ice shelves in the Antarctic Peninsula just south of the recent January 0C isotherm; the ice shelf in the Prince Gustav Channel on the east side of the peninsula, and the Wordie Ice Shelf; the ice shelf in George VI Sound, and the ice shelf in Wilkins Sound on the west side." Mercer, Nature 1978 v271.

The ice shelves in that quote are ~10Kyrs old and have all collapsed in recent years, except for the Wilkins shelf which is collapsing as we speak.

Re:negative spin much? (5, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513483)

No-one gives a shit about warning signs dude. Disasters will be the call to action. So basically only when the weather is completely out of control will people start demanding action.. and by then there will likely be nothing we can do.

Re:negative spin much? (3, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513717)

"No-one gives a shit about warning signs dude."

Perhaps that's because organised [wikipedia.org] astroturfers [icecap.us] have conviced [ff.org] many people [senate.gov] science doesn't apply to AGW [realclimate.org] .

The fact that the first hit on a google search for 'icecap "global warming"' is the icecap.us site would indicate your pessimisim is warranted. I actually had someone reply to me the other day who said something like "you don't get to quote Nature and Science as evidence for AGW because they are not statisticians".....sigh.

Re:negative spin much? (4, Insightful)

ElectricRook (264648) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513801)

The ice shelves in that quote are ~10Kyrs old

It's an amazing coincidence that the last ice age peaked about 10k years ago too.

Hmmm maybe we are emerging from an ice age, and glaciers and such mmmm melt after an ice age...

Jurisdiction (3, Funny)

rockNme2349 (1414329) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513183)

What even makes them think that the U.S. has the right to tinker with the global climate. I'm an american citizen, not a U.S. hater, but we don't have the jurisdiction to make changes that will affect the global climate.

Re:Jurisdiction (2, Insightful)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513301)

Are you shooting for +5 Funny? We already have been tinkering with the global climate by dumping enormous quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere for decades. The question isn't so much whether we have a right to do this, but whether we have a responsibility to do something.

That said, this particular proposal seems like a really bad idea. If we reduce the amount of light reaching the surface, then we will have to keep producing greenhouse gases to avoid global cooling. While it might seem that we would have little difficulty doing so, what happens when we run out of fossil fuels or fossil fuels are rendered uneconomical by, let's say, the invention practical fusion power? It's also worth noting that the greenhouse effect is not the only problem arising from our freewheeling pollution habits.

Re:Jurisdiction (3, Interesting)

Afforess (1310263) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513581)

I would advise you to read Fallen Angels [wikipedia.org] as you seem to have described the premise quite well. Of course, you did forget the ending.

Re:Jurisdiction (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513329)

That's odd. We had the jurisdiction to run the coal plants and burn the oil that helped create this climate change? In the past, we've sprayed the flourocarbons, spewed the DDT, dumped the mercury and lead and dioxin in factories we ran overseas. And somehow, we don't have the jurisdiction to try to reverse some of the damage?

I'm not suggesting that this particular crackpot scheme is a good idea, but "jurisdiction" wouldn't seem to be the problem here.

Re:Jurisdiction (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513363)

What makes them think the USA is the only country which can do this unilaterally? There's plenty of countries which could do it if they saw fit.

Not reversal (5, Insightful)

alexibu (1071218) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513191)

This is not a reversal of climate change.

Reflecting more sun from the top of the atmosphere while increasing greenhouse gasses will place us in yet another unknown region of the earths dynamics.

It might work in controlling temperature - for some small part of the earth - if you get it right, but this is a multi variable system, people might not like your attempts to control temperature if rainfall patterns are altered, winds and currents change, and we get less sunlight to run solar and wind power and grow crops.

We already have one uncontrolled multi decade experiment running, lets start another. I'm quite certain there are no precedents that would indicate that rapidly constructed fixes to problems cause any more problems than the original one.

Re:Not reversal (2, Informative)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513587)

I think we're doing all that right now (this one, we as a species, not just the US or the West), but it's a side effect rather than the goal. It is informally called "global dimming", where particulate pollution is reflecting sunlight. There was a NOVA episode on this where they managed to find data to help them track the amount of sunlight hitting the surface over the past hundred years or so, among other lines of evidence.

Re:Not reversal (0, Troll)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513719)

Don't you see, all we have to do is get temperatures to drop! Then all the problems will magically go away when all the mass extinctions occur just like every other ice age.

All these dolts with hardons for Al Gore seem to forget that while a warming trend may be harmful to a few species and a small percentage of geographic areas, a glacial period will be harmful to a metric fuckton of species and a large percentage of geographic areas.

Re:Not reversal (0, Flamebait)

Sasayaki (1096761) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513813)

Huh.

That's like saying, "Wow, it's getting rather hot here in this oven. Can we turn down the heat a little?"

"Hah! Let's see how you survive at absolute zero!"

Sorry to break it to you Americans, but "With Us Or Against Us" binary thinking is awesome for fantasy RPGs but pretty destructive when you apply it In Real Life.

1/2 Acre of Trees = 1 Car's Pollution (0, Offtopic)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513193)

Evidently, the amount of Greenhouse pollution spewed by the average new car these days is the same as the amount of CO2 that a half-acre of trees sucks up into growth.

If every new car sold came with a certificate that an acre of trees was planted and maintained somewhere, cars would be responsible for slowing and then reversing the Greenhouse.

Getting the trees to grow back seems a lot safer and less stupid than continuing to pretend we can mess with the complex and sensitive atmosphere like we know what we're doing, which is what got us into this mess.

Re:1/2 Acre of Trees = 1 Car's Pollution (1)

Lorienthin (1439867) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513223)

Unfortunately, there is nowhere near enough space to plant that many trees. Unless of course you'd like to stop a ton of farming in the central U.S....or I guess you could just force it on some third world country and then sit back and enjoy the satisfaction that comes from not personally causing global warming.

Re:1/2 Acre of Trees = 1 Car's Pollution (2, Interesting)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513369)

250,851,833 cars in the US
2,428,202,240 acres in the US(less 6% water)

Your right, theres nowhere near enough space to plant 250 million acres of tree's.

Re:1/2 Acre of Trees = 1 Car's Pollution (2, Funny)

cybernanga (921667) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513393)

According to my google fu [hypertextbook.com] , there were about 600 million cars world wide in 1997, and they estimate that at present rates that will double by 2030.

As we are in 2009, which is less than half way to 2030, let be generous and say there are 900 million cars on the road today.

This means we need to plant trees on 1.8 billion acres.

Considering that the Sahara Desert is over 2 billion acres, I think we have plenty of space. and as the Sahara is not too densely populated, it won't affect too many people, and will actually provide a lot of work for people in Africa, which will go a long way to solving may problems there.

Note: There are other deserts that could be used as well ;)

Re:1/2 Acre of Trees = 1 Car's Pollution (1)

Bottlemaster (449635) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513523)

How much additional CO2 will we put into the atmosphere to irrigate the Sahara?

Re:1/2 Acre of Trees = 1 Car's Pollution (4, Funny)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513537)

How much additional CO2 will we put into the atmosphere to irrigate the Sahara?

Fool. Just use carbonated water.

Re:1/2 Acre of Trees = 1 Car's Pollution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27513695)

Fool. Just use carbonated water.

AHA!! It's all coca-cola's fault!

Re:1/2 Acre of Trees = 1 Car's Pollution (2, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513381)

Evidently, the amount of Greenhouse pollution spewed by the average new car these days is the same as the amount of CO2 that a half-acre of trees sucks up into growth.

If every new car sold came with a certificate that an acre of trees was planted and maintained somewhere, cars would be responsible for slowing and then reversing the Greenhouse.

Getting the trees to grow back seems a lot safer and less stupid than continuing to pretend we can mess with the complex and sensitive atmosphere like we know what we're doing, which is what got us into this mess.

And about every 10-20 years we could cut down the trees and build something with them as an added bonus.

And no, I'm not trying to be funny. Young, growing trees "suck up" more CO2 than mature trees. Cutting them down and planting new ones actually makes them more useful as air filters. This is why I think it's so sad when tree hugging protesters protest outfits that plant a new tree for every tree they cut down and only cut the mature trees to thin a forest out (as opposed to clear cutting it).

Now, the only problem I see with your plan is that we make a lot more cars than we have acres. Eventually, all of the US will be covered in trees especially when you consider that trees last much longer than cars. A ten year old car is ready for the heap whereas a ten year old tree is just getting started.

Re:1/2 Acre of Trees = 1 Car's Pollution (1)

davidbofinger (703269) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513743)

And about every 10-20 years we could cut down the trees and build something with them as an added bonus.

In other words, you're talking about running a plantation that could produce lumber, but instead storing the lumber to sequester carbon dioxide. So we can calculate the cost of this program fairly easily: it's the cost of running our cars on lumber. Unfortunately I understand that's kind of high.

Re:1/2 Acre of Trees = 1 Car's Pollution (2, Interesting)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513399)

I like that idea. The problem with that is you're more likely to be funding a 30-year corporate investment than genuinely offsetting the pollution. Eg $1000 charged to consumer returns $30,000 when the "crop" is harvested. That's a brilliant scheme if you have a car factory... until the wood market is flooded, I guess.

Make bigger trees and better forests. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513585)

It's a silly thing but the operative part of a tree that we want is photosynthesis. A key challenge of absorbing CO2 is to optimize the surface area of the photosynthetic elements while keeping all of them illuminated. Nature did this pretty well, but one wonders if mankind could do better if we have LEDs inside otherwise dark areas.

Sorry About the Ice Age... (3, Interesting)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513197)

Jeesh, Obama doesn't work here anymore, you know that was years ago.

What do you mean the entire northern European Continent's former residents now want reparations now that their countries are under an ice sheet?

After all it was just a little dust, not even what a volcano produces.

It must have been the fault of the relative lack of Solar sun spots.

Oh, what? 100 million people are now claiming they "own" the U.S.? Ice reparations?

You'll destroy us just like, well, the Treaty of Versailles did to Germany a century ago...

Re:Sorry About the Ice Age... (0, Troll)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513387)

Do we get reparations for the warming being caused by the USA (they use 25% of the world's energy with their excessive behaviour).

Re:Sorry About the Ice Age... (0, Flamebait)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513493)

Do we get reparations for the warming being caused by the USA (they use 25% of the world's energy with their excessive behaviour).

No, but here's a cookie.

See, the problem you guys have is you think showering regularly is "excessive behavior."

Re:Sorry About the Ice Age... (2, Insightful)

sirsnork (530512) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513617)

No, we think driving around cars that a more like tanks and eating food that has seen more processing than it's packaging is excessive behaviour

These ideas are not new. (5, Interesting)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513201)

Slightly-nutty (but carefully analytical) Libertarian magazines were bandying these ideas around in 1997 [reason.com] , and they'd already been around a while by then. I'm a big fan of the "paint it white" approach - increase the urban albedo by using concrete instead of asphalt, using light-colored roofs and paints... Not only does it reflect sunlight (cooling the earth) it also reduces the "heat island" effect so you don't need as much air conditioning in the summer.

The real problem with any such approach, they argue, is

Having sinned against Mother Nature inadvertently, many are keenly reluctant to intervene knowingly. Sherwood Rowland, a chemist at the University of California at Irvine who predicted, with Mario Molina, the depletion of the ozone layer, declared, "I am unalterably opposed to global mitigation." This added considerable weight to the abstention cause. At root, such people see mankind as the problem; only by behaving humbly, living lightly upon our Earth, can we atone.

This religiosity in climate-change politics fascinates me - it's why I like the Michael Crichton essays/speeches on the topic even though he says "climate change is fake!" and it's pretty much Not Fake. More recently, I've seen stuff in that same Libertarian magazine [reason.com] comparing the current climate-change political scene to "denigrating HIV treatment and blocking condom distribution in order to discourage promiscuity. [It] is every bit as callous and irresponsible."

Re:These ideas are not new. (1)

xkcdFan1011011101111 (1494551) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513371)

I'm a big fan of the "paint it white" approach - increase the urban albedo by using concrete instead of asphalt, using light-colored roofs and paints... Not only does it reflect sunlight (cooling the earth) it also reduces the "heat island" effect so you don't need as much air conditioning in the summer.

but if you want to put solar cells on your roof, then your roof will be *extremely* not reflective.

Re:These ideas are not new. (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513487)

People who believe only what they told and not what they observe are always going to be in conflict with science. One can imagine the kind of terror the Galileo and Cupernicus and Brahe caused with their science. Man is no longer the center of the universe, giants in the bible were simply not possible, and other certain events were now put into place. Then we have Newton with his way of understanding the almighty, by active observation of all of creation rather than passive reflection and regurgitation of words written by men who wanted to limit the realm of the almighty. Then we have the favorite bogeymen of the intolerant, Darwin who said we are one people, one race, and therefore all children of god. Overnight anyone who accepted the observational validity of evolution could not longer justify slavery and murder on the basis of the other being created separately. We were all one, and even if look different, killing or enslaving another was just like enslaving or killing one of your own. To this day such a world where we are all one people in unthinkable in many churches, so it is condemned. Climate change is more of the same. It signifies a world where man is in control. We know have the power to make and remake creation. For most people, who live their life in quiet irresponsibility, blaming everything on the sins of others, such responsibility is new and unwelcome development.

For the rest of us, climate change is simply opportunity, so there is no reason to prove it absolutely true. The business opportunities are increadible for those who wish to invest in it. The oil companies don't. The car makers don't, except for the one american company that is not on the verge of insolvency, Ford. This is another thing that tends to identify the extreme conservative and makes him or her fight change. A sense of entitlement to special treatment even when they have not done anything to contribute to society i a generation.

Re:These ideas are not new. (2, Interesting)

jambarama (784670) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513503)

There are definitely some head-in-the-sand people writing for Reason, but occasionally they get things right, even about global warming. I think the interview they did with Bjorn Lomborg [reason.com] , a Danish scientist, was quite good. Basically Bjorn said climate change is real and man-made, but he thinks there are other policies that have more return on the dollar, where return is some measurement of alleviation of human suffering. Of course we can do many things simultaneous, but climate change seems to be where all the attention and dollars are focused.

There is a tendency right now in which global warming has subsumed all other environmental issues. While global warming is definitely an important environmental issue, there's a problem if it takes all of the time to the exclusion of everything else.

Reason definitely has an open bias, but as long as you know that while reading it, you can call them on their BS, but still benefit from a lot of the other really good stuff there.

65 MYA? (1)

Comtraya (1306593) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513241)

Isn't this kinda the same idea as what killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, just on a slightly smaller scale?

Those who control the sun light..... (1)

Neptunes_Trident (1452997) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513247)

Solar along with thermal, will no doubt, be the future of our energy.
One can claim ownership of land and now, they, "the few" will attempt to own the light.
Quite honestly, I believe this is just a cycle change for our planet and people are over reacting.
Yes we see the results of global warming, but I am cautioned to see that maybe we are letting our fears get the better of us here.
Instead of inventing new ways to pollute our atmosphere with these particles, or attempts to "control" light, we should rather be cleaning up our existing mess.
I see yet again, the combination of media twisting fears, greed of money and desire for supreme control over the masses driving us to a new set of future conflicts.
Oh and lets not forget shear boredom as well. I am not impressed.

TIme to move to a new planet? (1)

canada_dry (830702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513249)

I dunno about you guys, but the idea of a bunch of "scientists" directly messing with the climate scares the hell out of me. I'm envisioning a climate equivalent of "The Happening" or "I Am Legend".

Re:TIme to move to a new planet? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513397)

So long as they use something that settles out of the atmosphere within a couple of months then the "damage" will be short lived.

Re:TIme to move to a new planet? (1)

Mprx (82435) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513777)

Weather is a chaotic system. There's no guarantee things would return to normal.

Get Obama's cabinet all to pay their back taxes (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27513259)

Hell, we could then pay for all this crap.

Democrats: what's good for everyone is bad for you and doesn't apply to them. Whether it's gun control, taxes, or climate change (I'm looking at YOU, Al Gore, and your private jetting around the world and your 42-room mansion!)

Oh man... (-1, Flamebait)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513261)

I can see it now. Lets just get some of the HAARP [wikipedia.org] conspiracy theorists together with Glenn Beck, and tell them that Obama is planning to bring "change" to the climate.

You'd get fodder for a least a month of The Daily Show, easily.

Re:Oh man... (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513417)

...and tell them that Obama is planning to bring "change" to the climate.

I'm sorry, but are you saying that Obama is NOT trying to change the climate and that you need to be a tin-foil-hat-wearing-conspiracy-nut to think that he is?

You're playing god! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27513271)

... well, *somebody* has to!

Re:You're playing god! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27513607)

Nobody HAS to. Sometimes "shit happens".

This is not a solution. (2, Insightful)

lptport1 (640159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513313)

This is postponing the problem until some future generation has to fix not only the original problem, but also the problem created by this "fix".

I'd hate to be alive for that, and I have a feeling I will be. We're suckers.

space based options (1)

xkcdFan1011011101111 (1494551) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513319)

The article didn't mention of any space based proposals. I've seen a group argue for a large "solar umbrella" to be placed at the Earth-Sun L1 lagrange point. While the L1 point is unstable, it is possible to make a craft that can stably orbit the L1 point. Just a relatively small umbrella (1-5 miles across) would be enough to block 10% of the incoming solar energy. It'd be expensive, but its doable. I wish I had a link.

A similar group came up with a results to show that 2% of incoming solar energy can be blocked with a *lot* of tiny umbrellas that might fit in a single large rocket (delta IV heavy): http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/technovel_sunshade_061111.html [space.com]

Re:space based options (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513425)

I don't know how a five-mile umbrella could block 10% of the energy but sol long as it degrades within a month and/or has a self-destruct then it might be a good way to do this experiment.

Re:space based options (1)

xkcdFan1011011101111 (1494551) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513481)

Its simple. Earth gets heat from the sun by radiant energy (sunlight). Block the sunlight and you reduce the amount of heat the Earth gets from the sun. You basically make a big spacecraft that creates a partial solar eclipse, but since the spacecraft is at the L1 point the spacecraft doesn't have to be ENORMOUS to block a significant portion of the sun.

Re:space based options (1)

alienunknown (1279178) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513515)

The article didn't mention of any space based proposals. I've seen a group argue for a large "solar umbrella" to be placed at the Earth-Sun L1 lagrange point.

I am quite sure that Ms. Fenty [wikipedia.org] originally proposed such a theory with her Umbrella thesis [wikipedia.org] .

Re:space based options (1)

psicop (229507) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513659)

You'll need the tech advancement "Advanced Spaceflight" and pass a motion before the planetary council before launching a solar shade.

That's probably why it wasn't mentioned.

For years man has yearned to destroy the sun... (1)

RightwingNutjob (1302813) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513321)

We'll do the next best thing. Block it out.

The Chem Trails Conspiracy gets a headline (3, Insightful)

ThePackager (562279) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513331)

Will you guys put away the heavy words? The wonk was talking possibilities. How much does climate change get fixed by hyper-cynicism? Perhaps the effort on real solution consideration is beyond your capabilities.

Ah, but is it reversible? (3, Interesting)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513333)

Most of these Dire Global Warming predictions are based on computer models which are known to be flawed.

Any measure taken to counteract perceived Global Warming must be reversible if found ineffective (or worse, a hindrance). Injecting more particulate pollution into the atmosphere to counteract Global Warming doesn't sound to me like an easily reversible thing. Far safer and easier to do, me thinks, to park a large asteroid in synchronous orbit between the Earth and Sun to occlude solar radiation. If it's "too effective" then it can be (comparatively) easily moved or removed, if it's "not enough" then more can be gathered.

yes, it is. (2, Informative)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513603)

It rains. That gets the dirt out of the air. So the problem with mitigation will be, what will happen when all of these things we launch into the air come back and hit the ground.

We had a ton of pollution that essentially accomplished this effect and to some degree masked global warming. Once we got smart and lowered the size of and then got rid of particulate emissions of many kinds, that's when temperatures started moving up.

Re:Ah, but is it reversible? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27513727)

or solar sails to gather the energy, use some of it, and keep it from reaching the earth.

Re:Ah, but is it reversible? (1)

novakyu (636495) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513775)

Far safer and easier to do, me thinks, to park a large asteroid in synchronous orbit between the Earth and Sun to occlude solar radiation.

Horribly unrealistic. Consider the moon:

For an "asteroid", it's a fairly large asteroid—it's large enough that its own gravity keeps it roughly spherical (many asteroids are not large enough to do that).

It's also very close to the Earth. It's probably not very realistic to get anything that's nearly the size of the moon much closer to Earth.

Now, imagine what happens in a solar eclipse: a tiny patch of land on Earth gets the shadow of the moon—even during a full solar eclipse most of the hemisphere sees the sun and receives the solar radiation normally. You cannot cut off solar radiation by any significant amount by placing an object between the sun and the Earth.

A "solar shade" that covers the almost all the surface of the earth might be more realistic, but given that the whole "global warming" is half invented "problem" in the first place, I think for now we should stick to painting streets white, rather than engage in a massive project with no doubt enormous engineering challenges.

I'm not a global-warming sceptic... (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513339)

... I'm a climate engineer!

Re:I'm not a global-warming sceptic... (1)

nido (102070) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513567)

I'm a climate engineer!

Do you pilot one of those planes whose contrail doesn't disperse like it should? Maybe they don't use pilots anymore - drone planes would work just as well. Maybe you plan where the drones are going to fly on a given day.

(Anyone who believes that the climate isn't already being engineered just isn't watching the skies [arizonaskywatch.com] .)

I am a Troll (2, Interesting)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513437)

Preventing a cancer before it starts is far more effective than attempting to treat it after years of abuse. But yeah in these types of topics I generally get modded Troll for telling people they need to give up their cars and ride bicycles if they want to stop (or slow down) climate change. Yes there are certainly a very great deal of reasons why, for example, people can't ride bikes: weather is too hot, weather is too cold, work is too far away, biking causes sweat, etc. Yep, just mark me Troll.

Re:I am a Troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27513611)

Maybe you should stop putting "I am a Troll" in all of your subject lines. I think I speak for most moderators when I say that we usually don't read past the subject line.

If you really want to be a Troll... (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513629)

But yeah in these types of topics I generally get modded Troll for telling people they need to give up their cars and ride bicycles

That's dumb. If you really wanted to be a troll, you could recommend that the nuclear nations go and nuke the third world, cutting the population of the earth down to a more sustainable 2 billion.

Really, with nuclear proliferation, this is probably inevitable anyway. Some American cities will survive because of a limited missile defense system, but the rest of the world will probably be exterminated.

Bet you are glad.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27513463)

...you voted for this stupid dumbass. Obama...Osama...and Chelsie's Momma...

Such the wrong approach (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513479)

Everybody wants America (as well as most of the west) to do major cutbacks. The simple fact is, that ALL countries need to cut back. Obama appears certain to join the cap-trade idiots. So far, all the countries that are participating in it, are cheating their ass off. Now, ppl are talking wild ideas. Totally insane.

The best approach is to instead have the west put in a VAT on ALL GOODS based on amount of Pollution created in its production. It should be PHASED in, rather than just hit the economy. By taking that approach, ALL countries/states will be penalized that have lots of fossil fuel usage esp. if not cleaning them up. By taking this approach, it would give time to companies to adjust by cleaning up as well as changing their medium and long-term plans. By taking the approach of saying that the "rich" nations, they are really saying western nations. Even now, China is the number one polluter in the world AND oddly, one of the richest. Yet, they will be overlooked with many of these approaches.

Just out of curiosity... (1, Interesting)

jmccarty (1510147) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513525)

I know this is somewhat off topic, but did anybody else ever watch The great global warming swindle [google.com] ? Have we actually determined that the warming models are correct, and that we actually can reverse the course of climate change? I have the feeling that global warming continues to be more of a politically driven argument than a scientific one.

Let's fix the problem that doesn't exist (4, Interesting)

isa-kuruption (317695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513533)

The global temperature hasn't risen in about 8 years (in fact, it has slightly gone down). So what's to fix?

But either way, this is kind of stuff is confusing. Supposedly pollutants in the air increased the global temperature but now we want to inject more of them into the air to decrease global temperature? How does that make sense?

I guess it's the same as fixing the the huge credit problem in the U.S. by telling banks to issue more credit to more at risk lenders?

Or by cutting the country's deficit by increasing spending?

Or by decreasing unemployment by giving illegal immigrants legal status so they can compete for the already limited number of available jobs?

Or by fixing solving the global nuclear threat by reducing our nuclear arsenal while Iran and North Korea continue to push theirs.

Is his Administration pulling these ideas out of their asses or what?

(I know I'll be rated a troll by all the kool-aid drinkers, that's okay)

Re:Let's fix the problem that doesn't exist (5, Informative)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513793)

Yeah, well, in the new green religion, when the facts don't [soundpolitics.com] fit [soundpolitics.com] the theory, you fire the scientists [google.com] . Welcome to politicized science.

The real thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27513535)

does anybody knows the global average temperature for the last 600 million years?...counting ice ages, hot eras, etc.....no?...the average global temperature is 22 degrees Celsius.
Now the Current global average temperature is an abnormal 12 degrees Celsius, don't let the scaremongers get ya, the world is going to get warm again, not because Al Gore tells you, its because its going to return to normality. Its all in the planet and Sun cycles.

Im waiting to have my spring vacations, surf, get tan and have mai tais under the umbrella on the beautiful tropical Black Sand Beach, Ketchikan Gateway Borough, Alaska.

China, World Leader (1)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513573)

China is way ahead of us at protecting the planet with particulates.

You want to reduce CO2 emissions, ... (5, Insightful)

drgould (24404) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513615)

... build more nuclear power plants.

Yeah, I know, -1 Flamebait.

Futurama (1)

Tokerat (150341) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513631)

What about a giant space shield to reflect the suns rays? Could make it ultra thin from carbon fiber, probably wouldn't even need to be out there very long...

Re:Futurama (1)

Cathbard (954906) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513759)

Ah, like a giant toupee?

Shrivel and die, you Pusillanimous Wimp! (1)

schmidt349 (690948) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513647)

Barack Obama convenes the Planetary Council!

Agenda: Launch solar shade

-----
Sorry, I know that makes two SMAC references in one week, but it couldn't be helped.

If the plan worries any of you, don't think too much about it, Sister Miriam will probably veto it anyway.

RE: Climate Engineering As US Policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27513667)

Madness ... bloody madness ... what fools!

Plausibility (1)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513671)

But does this plan have as much plausibility as the environmentalists' plan to reduce anthropogenic carbon emissions by 200%? (Logically impossible, but this is what would be needed to reverse global warming, where it's unlikely that we'll even see a slow-down in the growth of carbon emissions without enormous sacrifices to our standard of living.)

Sorry, I'm ignorant (1)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513697)

What's this "rest of the world" thing people like to mention every now and then? I've never heard of it.

Sorry but this seems like Jumping the gun... (1)

primefalcon (1367925) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513723)

The science behind global warming isn't exactly uncontested.... I know its a Novel but go read Michael Creighton's State of Fear

Government is the answer to EVERYTHING (1)

furry_wookie (8361) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513739)

What?!

You mean a democrat believes that the Government should meddle in EVERYTHING and that there nothing that it does not have any limit to what it should do?!

Shock and Horror.

Please, don't make this a documentary. (1)

Torodung (31985) | more than 5 years ago | (#27513807)

Highlander II [imdb.com] :

It's the year 2024 and all the ozone above Earth has gone. To protect people from dying, MacLeod helped in the construction of a giant "shield", several years ago. But, since there isn't left anyone Immortal after MacLeod's victory in the previous film, he has stopped being an Immortal himself. Now he is just an old man, until one day some other Immortals arrive on our planet. You see, the Immortals come from another planet... Planet Ziest.

Oh God! We've become a bad movie. There can be only one.

--
Toro

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