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UN May Ban Blotting Out the Sun

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the since-the-beginning-of-time-man-has-yearned-to-destroy-the-sun dept.

Earth 377

Supervillains and Mr. Burns are among those to be most affected by the United Nations' Convention on Biological Diversity decision on space sunshades. Even though organizations like NASA have been looking into them as a possible way to slow climate change, the UN is expected to limit research into the technology or ban it outright. From the article: "The Convention may consider banning or limiting research into space sunshades. Some question their wisdom. A space sunshade would have a rapid effect on global warming and provide time to develop more permanent measures, they say. The technique has already received serious attention from NASA and other organizations. But others, such as the ETC group, an environmental and social advocacy group, fear simply blocking the sun is a bandage, meant to cover up the problem, and allow humans to continue using fossils fuels. Another fear is that geo-engineering, as techniques like this are called, could have unforeseen consequences on the weather, ecosystem and agriculture."

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377 comments

What about this? (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935200)

Maybe they just don't want any competition with their frikin' sharks...

fark reported on this yesterday...and got it right (0, Flamebait)

MichaelKristopeit 14 (1916016) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935208)

the UN DID implement punishment for blocking the sun

slashdot = stagnated

Re:fark reported on this yesterday...and got it ri (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935246)

And I'm sure Mr Burns is still angry about this.

Re:fark reported on this yesterday...and got it ri (0, Flamebait)

MichaelKristopeit 14 (1916016) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935622)

the truth = flamebait.

slashdot = stagnated

FOX News Headline (3, Insightful)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935210)

UN bans shadows!

Re:FOX News Headline (1, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935276)

I'm really getting tired of the FNC bashing. The other channels (MSNBC, ABC, CBS, etc) are no better. They all lie to you. Didn't you know that?

Re:FOX News Headline (-1, Offtopic)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935400)

I'm really getting tired of the FNC bashing. The other channels (MSNBC, ABC, CBS, etc) are no better. They all lie to you. Didn't you know that?

Sure, but the lies really are not on the same order of magnitude.

If someone who tells huge lies is equivalent to someone who tells smaller lies to you, I suggest you've forfeited your ability to make a meaningful distinction.

We could use a news channel slanted towards giving a bigger voice to ideas like genuine fiscal conservatism. FNC is not it.

Re:FOX News Headline (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935552)

By "not on the same order of magnitude," you actually mean "one makes lies that slant toward my ideology and the other slants against it."

Do a scientific study and you'll find that those others are just as bad as, if not worse than Fox News.

Re:FOX News Headline (-1, Offtopic)

BrentH (1154987) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935654)

If you really believe that, I'm afraid your head is so far up your arse that no-one can help you.

Re:FOX News Headline (0, Offtopic)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935718)

This is exactly what Rachel Maddow and John Stewart have accomplished. The only argument you have against Fox News is: "if you don't think they are the worst news organization ever, you are an idiot." What a great argument. Do you get most of your news from the Daily Show?

Re:FOX News Headline (0, Offtopic)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935788)

I love how people compare Fox News and the Daily Show... They're both entertainment shows based on the news.

Re:FOX News Headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935856)

Not sure how your comment applies to my comment, unless it was just a random thought. I made no such comparison, only implied that a lot of the hate toward Fox News is because liberals think that the Daily Show is a real source of news.

Re:FOX News Headline (4, Insightful)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935854)

Sure, but the lies really are not on the same order of magnitude.

I think that really depends on your point of view and your ability to recognize that you are biased in one direction or the other. Most people are biased. The important thing is to recognize your bias and make sure that you don't think things are neutral simply because you agree with it.

The other thing is to recognize the difference between commentary and news. Most "news" stations are mostly commentary these days and they all have one primary goal, and that is not to deliver the truth, but to make money.

Re:FOX News Headline (0, Offtopic)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935422)

Yes but not in as entertaining and ignorant way that Fox News does.

Two words: Glen Beck

Re:FOX News Headline (0, Flamebait)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935464)

I've always taken Fox News as a mix between The Onion and Comedy Central, with a splattering of CNN, to make sure they were actually talking about real issues or events.

    I feel sorry for those who actually believe the crap that they say. I'm sure there's a true word here or there, but I wouldn't be willing to wager that there were more than say a dozen per day.

Re:FOX News Headline (0, Offtopic)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935644)

By "true word" you must mean "liberal slant."

Fox doesn't make everything up. You just haven't heard the stuff in question on any other stations because they avoid reporting on a lot of topics that hurt their respective causes.

Yes, it is extreme sometimes, and even often, but the Fox News hate has more to do with politics than a lack of truth.

CNN is just as bad.

Re:FOX News Headline (0, Offtopic)

CasperIV (1013029) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935706)

You are telling me that no other channel has "shock jock" opinion shows? What the hell have I been watching on the other channels all this time then? When a segment is labeled "news" I will assume it has a some random facts sprinkled with opinion. When a segment is labeled opinion, I assume it is an entertainment section utilizing facts. The two are very different and do no automatically void any channel they maybe on. Last time I checked, Fox was dominating all other stations because of their opinion shows, and MSNBC was dominating CNN for the same reason. People want to be entertained.... staying current on the petty happenings of the world are just a side effect. The real issue has nothing to do with the shows as much as it is becoming personal to people that disagree with the politics. If you are explicitly Democrat or Republican, you are already too bias to have a valid opinion on entertainment like this.

Re:FOX News Headline (0, Offtopic)

navygeek (1044768) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935760)

Yeah... As someone that does tend to lean towards the right on more topics than I lean left (I'm an equal opportunity asshole), even I think Glenn Beck is freak show. He's nothing but a FUD-monger with his head up his own ass.

Re:FOX News Headline (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935424)

Try BBC - perhaps you can catch them on the occasional lie too, but at least they don't think their viewers are idiots.

Re:FOX News Headline (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935446)

I'm really getting tired of the FNC bashing. The other channels (MSNBC, ABC, CBS, etc) are no better. They all lie to you. Didn't you know that?

Of course he knows that.

That's why he gets his news from The Daily Show with occasional doses of The Colbert Report to keep things fair and balanced.

Re:FOX News Headline (0, Offtopic)

RapmasterT (787426) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935628)

Of course he knows that.

That's why he gets his news from The Daily Show with occasional doses of The Colbert Report to keep things fair and balanced.

I actually had to explain to my girlfriend that Colbert is NOT a conservative, that he is a "parody" of a conservative. She didn't understand the difference. She thought that John Steward had a liberal show and Colbert had a conservative one.

I honestly have to wonder how many people also think that. When I hear about people getting their primary news from The Daily Show, I doubt they can tell the difference. There are probably loads of people who think Colbert is what conservatives are.

The really ironic thing is that lately John Stewart has been highly critical of the democrats, sounding almost like a conservative...while Colbert just acts like a cartoon character.

Re:FOX News Headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935858)

I guess Fox News tells people the facts all the time without bashing a particular religious group.....

Re:FOX News Headline (2, Funny)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935810)

UN bans Persian arrows!!

Bad idea (1)

suso (153703) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935224)

Even if the sun isn't shining on your side of the planet, its still shining on the planet. If you block it all together, I think it would have unforeseen consequences. Like a sudden chill.

Re:Bad idea (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935320)

What if we put the shades into a geo stationary orbit hovering only over the deepest parts of the ocean. I don't believe the sun does much over deep ocean. I suppose it could change the warming of certain currents. It could play a major role in hurricane development that way I suppose.

Re:Bad idea (2, Insightful)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935390)

The problem with that is that the shadow does not always point straight down. It points in the direction normal to the sun; EG, even a geostationary shade would have a shadow that moves around thousands of miles as the angle of incident with the sun changes due to the earth's rotation.

Much more interesting would be to deploy something like this on Venus, to halt the greenhouse effect and cool it down.

Re:Bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935614)

And mirrors in Mars orbit to warm it up. There ya go, the extra 2 planets we supposedly need in 40 years. Send NASA funding.

Re:Bad idea (1)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935668)

Good point. Hadn't thought that one through I guess. Time for more coffee.

Re:Bad idea (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935792)

Much more interesting would be to deploy something like this on Venus, to halt the greenhouse effect and cool it down.

I agree, but given the fact that Venus is so much closer to the sun (and of a pretty similar size to Earth), you'd need a much larger "shade", since the sun's apparent size in the sky would be much larger.

Not undoable, but certainly a bigger challenge.

There's also the problem of the atmospheric pressure. Surface pressure is 93 bar - or roughly 93 times that of Earth. It's mostly CO2 (97%), so you'd need to remove a LOT of carbon from the air to get an oxygen rich atmosphere, and even then you'd have too much oxygen. You'd need to get it out of the air too - preferably by joining with Hydrogen to create some water on the surface, but I'm not sure the specifics of that.

Combine with the need to deal with the extremely long day/night cycle that would make agriculture difficult, and you've just got a difficult terraforming ahead of you.

adjusting insolation in latitude bands (1)

rlseaman (1420667) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935836)

What if we put the shades into a geo stationary orbit hovering only over the deepest parts of the ocean.

As somebody else pointed out, that's not how GEOstationary orbits work. They are stationary with respect to the Earth, not the Sun moving across the sky. Rather, the notion is to place sunshades in orbits around the Earth-Sun L1 point (Lagrange worked out these specific solutions to the three-body problem) where the teeter-totter gravity of each body balances out. Google "Roger Angel".

Also, the atmosphere is well mixed, such that cooling the air over one place cools it everywhere. You might be able to enhance cooling in latitude bands relative to the six Hadley cells (3 north, 3 south). This could be handy for tweaking the North Atlantic Drift that keeps Europe happy and habitable. Of course, global warming is expected to affect the Hadley circulation itself, but as long as the equator remains warmer than the poles, the air that goes up must come down generating an odd number of cells. An interesting notion whether we could tweak the shading asymmetrically to result in differing numbers of cells north and south.

Whether we should pursue such a project is doubtful, but it would be good to work out the details before we find that we must pursue such a project.

Re:Bad idea (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935330)

>>>Even if the sun isn't shining on your side of the planet, its still shining on the planet.

What???

I for one welcome the new "no free speech" policies of our UN Overlords. Just ban any research you don't like. Two thumbs up for oligarchy.

Re:Bad idea (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935470)

A simple cloud already creates winds between the parts in its shade and the parts that aren't... it's obvious that a space-shade would influence the weather.

In addition, a space-shade that can actually influence the weather to such an extent that it counters global warming is one hell of a weapon.

I think that the UN may be on to something... It's easy to say now that it's a lot of fuss about nothing. But imagine how the world would have looked if (first of all the UN had existed in the 1940's and if) the UN had banned nuclear weapons. WWII would have lasted longer. The cold war would have escalated into WWIII pretty soon...

Ok, I am approaching this the wrong way... But you get the point.

Re:Bad idea (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935850)

Yeh.

The problem is: we're getting too warm. Mostly from the heat generated from the light is trapped in our atmosphere by green house gasses. NOTE: my description is like the 6th grade book report version, not 100% accurate.

So the problem is excess heat lingering.

A large sun shade would limit the amount of light coming to earth.

A lot of things need light (independent of heat): plants, algae, lord knows what else. Limit the light and it might have unexpected side effects on a lot.

Besides, as others said... it would be a band-aide. If the problem seems to disappear for a few years/decades then there will be little incentive to find a real solution. And then some lazy people will just keep saying "reduce the shade even more" which might cause more (and serious) problems.

Excellent... (1)

Kalidor (94097) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935226)

... but when has any UN resolution stopped Montgomery Burns?

it doesnt matter cause we're already in the Matrix (4, Funny)

yincrash (854885) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935228)

we already blocked out the sun 500 years ago to try and kill the machines, but they won anyways and we're all just blue pills lying in our pods

Re:it doesnt matter cause we're already in the Mat (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935530)

    There is a way out, but you're not ready. When you are, we'll come and get you.

    I will warn you though, it's not going to be comfortable. Your body has never developed many real muscles, so you won't be able to walk or talk. Even once you are, the reality here is not anywhere near as pretty as the simulation that you are currently in. You may believe decisions are life and death there, but they simply restart you in the simulator. Out here, there is no second chance.

Re:it doesnt matter cause we're already in the Mat (2, Funny)

fkx (453233) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935588)

"we are blue pills" ??

You didn't watch the movie, did you?

DID YOU?

Re:it doesnt matter cause we're already in the Mat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935852)

Maybe not in the near term.... (1)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935230)

But as the sun ages and gets bigger and hotter it might be a good idea to put up a sun shade while we can. I'm sure there's some "extra time" we could buy in the future if we're still around with a sun screen.

Re:Maybe not in the near term.... (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935618)

But as the sun ages and gets bigger and hotter it might be a good idea to put up a sun shade while we can.

IIRC, the expected evolution of the Sun will result in it getting bigger and cooler, it will just seem hotter to anything left on Earth because the Earth will actually be inside it.

Of course, there's billions of years before that happens. Personally, I think moving off the Earth is a better strategy for dealing with that than building any kind of plausible "sunshade".

Havent they learned.... (4, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935232)

That when you try to fix one problem, you almost always invent a new one? Prime example, using cats to get rid of mice....but than theres to many cats right? well lets roll in the dogs.. what? now too many dogs? ok lets bring in........ Some things are just better left alone

Re:Havent they learned.... (5, Funny)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935280)

You've haven't been watching enough Looney Tunes. You get rid of the elephant with a mouse and the cycle repeats.

Re:Havent they learned.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935592)

That when you try to fix one problem, you almost always invent a new one?

Prime example, using cats to get rid of mice....but than theres to many cats right? well lets roll in the dogs.. what? now too many dogs? ok lets bring in........

Some things are just better left alone

yep. its best to just take what we've got right now and work our asses off to make the world a better place. Isn't that why we're here in the first place?

1) end nationalism
2) invent automated robotic recycling processors
3) fully exploit renewable energy
4) develop massive high speed rails
5)......
6) Win (not profit)

UN ban Eclipse, Oracle rejoice (4, Funny)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935234)

UN ban Eclipse, Oracle rejoice

Queue music... (4, Funny)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935240)

I don't want to spend the rest of my life
Looking at the shade of a Satellite
I don't want to spend the rest of my days
Keeping out of sunshine like the mayor say
I don't want to spend my time in hell
Looking at the moon from Google Earth
I don't ever want to play the part
Of a statistic on a government chart


There has to be an invisible sun
It gives its heat to everyone
There has to be an invisible sun
That NASA has taken away I'm done

wot's wrong with that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935242)

> meant to cover up the problem, and allow humans to continue using fossils fuels.

So what's the problem? Presumably our goal is to address the problem, not to address the problem *in some "blessed" way*.

We should keep all options on the table and pick the one with the best cost/benefit ratio.

Re:wot's wrong with that? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935278)

The problem is we do not know the costs of this plan. It may let you drive an SUV a little longer, but change our climates in such a way that the breadbasket becomes a desert. Cost/Benefit would be fine, if we had any idea what the costs were. Scale testing should be done, on Mars perhaps.

Re:wot's wrong with that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935440)

...allow humans to continue using fossils fuels.

Plastics - made of fossil fuel - there goes your [insert your favourite device here]

Re:wot's wrong with that? (1)

berzerke (319205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935772)

Mars won't work for several reasons. First, from our point of view, Mars is already too cold. Second, unlike Earth, Mars has no oceans to help redistribute heat. This would change the equation dramatically. There is little atmosphere on Mars compared to Earth. This will also affect the equation. And for those thinking we could simply adjust our models to take those factors into account, take a look at the weather forecasts. We can't predict with any accuracy more than a few days out. What makes you think we can do years to decades out?

Finally, Mars is a lot further away than Earth is. The costs of even a minimal experiment would be prohibitive.

Not thinking it through (5, Funny)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935248)

Gigantic shades in the sky, with patterns of light coming through them. Just think of the sponsorship opportunities! Every time you look at the Sun, you could see an Apple or Coca Cola logo.

Clearly, they aren't thinking this through. The monetization could be extraordinary!

Re:Not thinking it through (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935750)

I saw an ad for Dr. Jeffrey's Retinal Replacements.

They can even do context sensitive advertising!

Wow!

Ow..

Re:Not thinking it through (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935800)

If they can get these into geostationary orbit, then Nazca will become a has-been. Or maybe they were caused by a Space Aliens shield.

Reflective rooftops (5, Informative)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935252)

Reflective rooftops [washingtonpost.com] have some conceptual similarities, but are somewhat less drastic.

Re:Reflective rooftops (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935408)

The UN should forbid them anyway, if they allow you to change the climate without reducing your fuel consumption. This is not about changing global warming - it is about sacrifice to show your worship of planet earth!

the SUN, like in "Sundae" (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935694)

No, it's about blocking our connection to GOD (sol invictus, to you dimbulbs out there...) This has NWO repotid thalamus-level thinking written all over it.

Re:Reflective rooftops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935636)

What if you live in a cold climate? Then you want the opposite.

Also white vs black helps but you want to get other wavelengths in there such as reflecting UV.

White vs black is a very narrow part of the spectrum.

Also part of the reason of the panic about CO2 is the heat trapping it helps create. So while you may be helping yourself you may be making the overall problem worse. So now instead of absorbing the heat you are reflecting it back out to be absorbed somewhere else.

I like to call it a 'good start'. But not a silver bullet.

Connor MacLeod already has patent on this. (1)

Orga (1720130) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935262)

Sorry you can't limit or ban research when there can be only one with the knowledge.

Re:Connor MacLeod already has patent on this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935356)

I don't recall this in Highlander I, III or IV.

Typical UN (3, Insightful)

jimbobborg (128330) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935266)

But others, such as the ETC group, an environmental and social advocacy group, fear simply blocking the sun is a bandage, meant to cover up the problem, and allow humans to continue using fossils fuels. Another fear is that geo-engineering, as techniques like this are called, could have unforeseen consequences on the weather, ecosystem and agriculture.

Wow, so let's block research to prevent knowledge. Because information is evil. And we don't agree with this line of thinking, so let's ban it. Hypocrites.

Re:Typical UN (1)

Tom (822) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935314)

So, you'd rather support trying it out, consequences be damned?

As I read it, it is not research that is being banned, but actually deploying it, even if you call it "experiment".

Re:Typical UN (4, Informative)

Aqualung812 (959532) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935456)

Then you need to work on your reading:

The Convention may consider banning or limiting research into space sunshades.

Re:Typical UN (1)

Tailhook (98486) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935676)

So, you'd rather support trying it out, consequences be damned?

The parent said nothing of "trying it out" and only mentioned research. The person that advocated "trying it out" is your straw man to which you then attribute indifference where it does not exist; "you disagree therefore you don't care about the environment!"

As I read it, it is not research that is being banned

What part of "limit research" did you fail to understand?

You didn't really fail to understand it did you? Thought police deserve a free pass as on behalf of "the environment." Environmental catastrophe might be preferable to being ruled by enviros like you.

The real issue... (3, Insightful)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935324)

But others, such as the ETC group, an environmental and social advocacy group, fear simply blocking the sun is a bandage, meant to cover up the problem, and allow humans to continue using fossils fuels.

I think this should lay to rest any doubts as to the motives of some of our friends in the Green community. Their primary concern is to cause humans to stop using fossil fuels. The actual need to do so isn't strictly relevant. They'd rather there not be any conflict of interests, so rather than mitigating the issue in any other way, they'll continue to press their agenda.

This should be seen as problematic. If for no other reason than it illustrates that the actual problem (dead humans) is secondary to their agenda.

Food for thought.

Re:The real issue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935490)

Actualy dead humans isn't that high on the list of problems global warming would cause. The real problem is that by the time humans start actually dying from it the rest of the enviroment will be so altered that most other complex life not directly beneficuial to humans will have been ireversably lost.

Re:The real issue... (2, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935504)

Not sure whether I'm in the green community, but I do think NOT damaging the environment is better than going ahead and damaging it with impunity in the hopes of patching it back up with some unproven scheme.

Re:The real issue... (1)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935746)

Not sure whether I'm in the green community, but I do think NOT damaging the environment is better than going ahead and damaging it with impunity in the hopes of patching it back up with some unproven scheme.

And the scheme will remain unproven because the ban targets research into that scheme. I could understand limiting deployment without sufficient safeguards, but limiting research? Putting a black eye on this specific research because of the potential side effect of its deployment (not of research itself) is based on a claim that is itself as unproven as the scheme you think you are debating.

Re:The real issue... (0, Troll)

owlstead (636356) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935598)

Yeah, that stupid green community, always looking for their own interest. Lets not do anything or follow any logic, since they don't care about us anyway. Why do the apologist capitalists always try and project their own defects onto the people that actually try and change the world for the better?

"Their primary concern is to cause humans to stop using fossil fuels."

FUD I tell you.

Re:The real issue... (3, Informative)

wierd_w (1375923) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935632)

the burning of fossil fuels has other issues, and blotting out the sun would only address one of them.

Let's break it down:

CO2 is toxic. Above a certain concentration, CO2 becomes a toxic agent. [wikipedia.org]

Sunlight is needed to safely remove CO2 from the atmosphere (via photosynthesis. Yes, the oceans can absorb a good deal without the sun, but this results in ocean acidification, which leads to biosphere collaspe, which leads to a spiral of death and destruction in the ocean-- resulting in a massive release of CO2 as all those organisms die from toxic water.)

Continuing to release geologically sequestered CO2 reduces the earth's ability to eliminate waste heat into space as infra-red radiation-- EG, it causes global warming.

Attempting to blot out sunlight (energy in) to compensate for the obstruction on energy out of our planet to regulate global temperature would make the current energy crisis look tame; Plants and animals would be dieing left and right from the reduced energy reaching the earth. this would slow the earth;s ability to re-sequester that carbon, and make a bad problem into an even worse one.

The whole "We need to stop burning fossil fuels!" cry from the scientific community (and from your much derided 'greenie weenies') is non-trivial. It's like saying we need to stop dumping toxic waste in landfills, or stop producing biological weapons of mass destruction; the CO2 itself is dangerous. We need to stop INCREASING it's free levels in our atmosphere, if we intend to continue living on this planet.

It has nothing to do with money, or some insane desire for everyone to live in mud huts; It's a desire for everyone to CONTINUE living.

Re:The real issue... (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935822)

It has nothing to do with money, or some insane desire for everyone to live in mud huts; It's a desire for everyone to CONTINUE living.

You might be correct, and probably are, in certain cases, but not in every case. You simply cannot deny that there are many seeking to profit off of this agenda.

Take for example, Al Gore. His own 'footprint' is disgustingly selfish, but he buys carbon credits to offset it. He buys them from his own company. The one he created just before releasing a gigantic advertisement for it called "An Inconvenient Truth", or what have you.

The Catholics have used this same scheme [wikipedia.org] it the past to great success, so I'm not terribly shocked to see it arise again. What does worry me, though is the impact it will have on our policies.

So if you're genuinely concerned, take note. Those who are not, but pretend to be, are set to screw us both. And barring the kind of research needed to determine whether or not your dire predictions will ever come true is against both of our best interests.

Re:The real issue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935828)

If we had 100% accurate climate models then maybe we could perfectly place these shades to counteract global warming. But we don't have 100% accurate models and it is the height of hubris to think that we ever could.

Altering the chemistry of our atmosphere (CO2 up by almost 50% now?) is a dangerous experiment, and huge sun glasses does make it a safe experiment.

Also, don't forget that the CO2 in the atmosphere is being absorbed by the oceans, leading to acidification, and sun glasses won't fix that.

Altering the chemistry of our one and only planet is foolish. Your attacks on the green community are misguided.

well...... (4, Insightful)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935354)

Does any Nation actually listen to the UN?

just as well for us to 'become' future fossil fuel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935360)

just add excessive heat, or cold, that'll do it. everything goes around & around?

the corepirate nazi freemason holycost (life, liberty etc...) is increasing by the minute. you call this 'weather'?

continue to add immeasurable amounts of MISinformation, rhetoric & fluff, & there you have IT? that's US? thou shalt not... oh forget it. fake weather (censored?), fake money, fake god(s), what's next? fake ?aliens? ahhaha. seeing as we (have been told that) came from monkeys, the only possible clue we would have to anything being out of order, we would get from the weather. that, & all the other monkeys tipping over/exploding around US.

the search continues; on any search engine

weather+manipulation

bush+cheney+wolfowitz+rumsfeld+wmd+oil+freemason+blair+obama+weather+authors

meanwhile (as it may take a while longer to finish wrecking this place); the corepirate nazi illuminati (remember, (we have been told) we came from monkeys, & 'they' believe they DIDN'T), continues to demand that we learn to live on less/nothing while they continue to consume/waste/destroy immeasurable amounts of stuff/life, & feast on nubile virgins while worshipping themselves (& evile in general (baal to be exact)). they're always hunting that patch of red on almost everyones' neck. if they cannot find yours (greed, fear ego etc...) then you can go starve. that's their (slippery/slimy) 'platform' now. see also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_personality_disorder

never a better time to consult with/trust in our creators. the lights are coming up rapidly all over now. see you there?

greed, fear & ego (in any order) are unprecedented evile's primary weapons. those, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' life0cidal hired goons' agenda. most of our dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'wars', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid schemes. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & any notion of prosperity for us, or our children. not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one, & the terminal damage to our atmosphere/planet (see also: manufactured 'weather', hot etc...). see you on the other side of it? the lights are coming up all over now. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be your guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. we now have some choices. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on your brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

"The current rate of extinction is around 10 to 100 times the usual background level, and has been elevated above the background level since the Pleistocene. The current extinction rate is more rapid than in any other extinction event in earth history, and 50% of species could be extinct by the end of this century. While the role of humans is unclear in the longer-term extinction pattern, it is clear that factors such as deforestation, habitat destruction, hunting, the introduction of non-native species, pollution and climate change have reduced biodiversity profoundly.' (wiki)

"I think the bottom line is, what kind of a world do you want to leave for your children," Andrew Smith, a professor in the Arizona State University School of Life Sciences, said in a telephone interview. "How impoverished we would be if we lost 25 percent of the world's mammals," said Smith, one of more than 100 co-authors of the report. "Within our lifetime hundreds of species could be lost as a result of our own actions, a frightening sign of what is happening to the ecosystems where they live," added Julia Marton-Lefevre, IUCN director general. "We must now set clear targets for the future to reverse this trend to ensure that our enduring legacy is not to wipe out many of our closest relatives."--

"The wealth of the universe is for me. Every thing is explicable and practical for me .... I am defeated all the time; yet to victory I am born." --emerson

no need to confuse 'religion' with being a spiritual being. our soul purpose here is to care for one another. failing that, we're simply passing through (excess baggage) being distracted/consumed by the guaranteed to fail illusionary trappings of man'kind'. & recently (about 10,000 years ago) it was determined that hoarding & excess by a few, resulted in negative consequences for all.

consult with/trust in your creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

all the manuals say we're not to kill each other, & we're mandated to care for/about one another, before any other notion will succeed. one does not need to agree whois 'in charge' to grasp the possibility that there may be some assistance available to us, including from each other. there's also the question of frequent extreme 'distractions' preventing us from following the simple 'directions' we were given, along with everything we needed to accomplish our task. see you there?
boeing, boeing, gone.

Re:just as well for us to 'become' future fossil f (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935652)

Ummmmm....

Wat?

What about?... (2, Insightful)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935382)

What about blanketing large tracts of land in solar-cells? Is that still okay?

Scariest thing yet to come out of the NWO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935392)

This convention is just a pretense to declare fatties war criminals and mandate treadmills.

Won't stop me (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935452)

So, they think banning this is going to stop my nefaruius plans! Hah! My evil empire sneers at your pitiful laws! Soon we shall be asking for **one million dollars** to remove our space umbrella (with the baby chicks imprented on it), which we shall use to fund our evil empire! Bwaaa-haaa-haaa!

Not a fan of the UN (1)

bmajik (96670) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935454)

The UN should only have one policy on space: getting humans off planet Earth.

The only thing (most) humans can agree on is that humans should outlive their home planet.

I hope the US/NASA reaction to any possible UN resolution on this subject is the typical "it's nice that you think so".

Re:Not a fan of the UN (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935492)

I hope the US reaction is to de-fund the UN.

Re:Not a fan of the UN (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935580)

I hope the US reaction is to de-fund the UN.

More likely it'll be to patent the business process of banning research.

If those morons actually enact their ban, I'd like to see them try to stop a private citizen doing research such as computer simulations, or banning a wiki devoted to researching / discussing the topic.

No other use for a sunshade? (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935460)

Aside from the fact that a working sunshade is likely decades, if not centuries, in the future and therefore may occur past the lifetime of the UN, aren't there other applications for a planetary sunshade such as blocking solar storms? I'm referring to ACC and Stephen Baxter's Sunstorm [wikipedia.org]

My prediction (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935480)

We're ridiculously far from a technological level where we can do this. Also, it'd require huge amounts of energy to get it up there in the first place...

Of course the UN opposes it (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935502)

Where are they going to make billions from letting their well-connected friends sell carbon offsets if we just build a giant shade?

global warming as a tool (3, Interesting)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935522)

if a sunshade were installed installed then global warming could not be used as a tool to control people and governments. I hate to bring up tinfoil hat topics, but sometimes I wonder if the UN has some dishonest ambitions when it comes to the topic of global warming. a centralized system of carbon credits and regulation to limit carbon footprints including mechanisms to enable inspection by some central authority seems like crazy conspiracy stuff, but it also seems plausible to me.

Bribe Lady Deirdre (3, Insightful)

Y-Crate (540566) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935548)

It's the only way to get the votes needed to stop this. We can raise sea levels and recover the Unity core while we're at it!

What they really want... (0, Troll)

chaboud (231590) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935550)

The whole fossil-fuel anthropogenic-warming movement allows developed nations to generate artificial demand for techniques and IP held primarily in developed nations. Undeveloped nations that are industrializing now don't get to drink from the same accelerative well of no-concern-for-externalities industrialization that the world's developed nations did, still having to funnel money (read: power, resources) to developed nations in order to keep trade open.

Undeveloped nations that choose to disregard UN formulated rules on carbon emissions may find themselves free-trade pariahs, left out of the global economy. Only nations already in positions of power, like China, could play outside of the intellectual-property-tax-for-mandatory-technologies treaty minefield if things go the UN's way.

Sure I'm aware that it would be hard to enact carbon-production limiting rules on a non-global scale, but the effects on international markets shouldn't be disregarded as likely (and obvious) motivations for policy decisions. Add in the pleasant regulatory generation of artificial demand to continue pulling on the leash of the economies of now-faltering western nations, and it's a win-win all around.

Poor people in poor countries stay relatively poor, and middle-class people in rich countries stay relatively poor.

Of course, I believe that anthropogenic CO2 has a warming effect. You'd have to be an idiot not to. Just as you'd have to be an idiot to take the wildly speculative high-end-of-the-margin-of-error conclusions of UN funded climate researchers at face value, or think that the planet's climate has been balancing on the head of a pin instead of sitting in a self-correcting trough. That the UN pushes so hard for their solution and so hard against honest research into techniques that would give us such fine-grained control over our climate reveals a great deal about their probable motivations.

In short, these guys* are crooks.

(These guys*: United States, France, the UK, and other developed UN member nations)

My tow cents (1)

ThePangolino (1756190) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935558)

I remembre having done some math on this idea a wile ago and it turned out you had to send something the size of Egypt (that's 1.000.000 -one million- km) in space to hope reduce the average global temperature of 1C.

fucking stupid (1)

hyperion2010 (1587241) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935572)

Anyone who thinks sunshades are a good idea is a complete idiot. Lets think about this for 2 seconds. What do we currently think causes global warming? CO2. Ok, so how do we think the levels of CO2 are regulated? Well on the production side there is any form of combustion or aerobic respiration. And on the other side? Carbon fixation by plants, the rate of which is determined, yes, you got it, but the amount of SUNLIGHT they get.

Sure this might work if they blocked out some of the infrared that planets etc. dont use, but for some reason I doubt they've thought of that. Furthermore, we have no fucking idea what the impact of these things would be, forget the complete waist of brainpower that might be used to put them up there.

Re:fucking stupid (1)

berzerke (319205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935864)

...Carbon fixation by plants, the rate of which is determined, yes, you got it, but the amount of SUNLIGHT they get...

True, but plants doing the fixing are not distributed evenly around the earth. How many plants are in the Sahara fixing carbon?

Oh great (1)

Dr. Sp0ng (24354) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935582)

Now the meddling do-gooders want to do to the environment what they've done to the economy. Enough with the grand schemes to control complex systems you don't understand, assholes.

I'm OK with this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935590)

As long as they don't ban blowing up the sun, I'm OK with this.

Toads (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935600)

Somewhat we take measures to stop a problem that make even more damage than the original problem, like with the cane toads in australia. Could have been predicted, or calculated with what was known in that time? Maybe not, or maybe yes, but the original concerns dismissed as something improbable (or that winter will kill the gorillas anyway). Playing with no fully understood things in global scale makes an "oops, didnt know that it could happen" pretty dangerous.

But i suppose that when (if) we undertand fully how climate and ecosystems works we can start to control the first without harming the second in a global scale.

Somewhat it remembers me all the sci-fi movies and books where traveling to the past is strictly forbidden for the possible consequences, or the consequences that happen where is not forbidden.

Paint the roofs white and use lighter colored pave (1)

melted (227442) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935606)

There are a number of things that could be done here on Earth. Paint the roofs white and use lighter colored pavement. Reflect the energy back into space, reduce air conditioning costs. Come up with a method of reliably re-planting the vast stretches of land with trees (I'm not talking about mere acres here, but rather hundreds or thousands of square miles). Pick (or genetically engineer) trees with lighter colored leaves so that they too would reflect more energy. Make coal fired power plants more expensive to run (this is being done already). Etc, etc.

As far as space shades, as long as they can be removed reasonably easily, I have no problem with them. I hope they don't ban them outright. The "fossil fuels" problem will fix itself in a hundred years or so, since there won't be any deposits of inexpensive fossil fuels left. Hopefully, physicists will also figure out the ways to sustain nuclear fusion by then as well (though in this case, we'll still have to figure out a way to get rid of the excess thermal energy—it will be produced in copious quantities).

Re:Paint the roofs white and use lighter colored p (1)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935806)

I'm still waiting for a USB CO2 sequesterisation device to appear on slashdot 2.5 watts to suck carbon out of the air and put it in a little tray underneath. of course it would only help if millions were sold and the computers they're connected to run off wind turbines

Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935638)

I've had it up to here with these damn rickets.

When blotting out the sun is outlawed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935710)

...only outlaws will blot out the sun.

of course this is dangerous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935714)

hasn't anyone seen highlander 2? if we have a giant sunshade, it's just 1 step closer to an evil plan to project that horrible movie onto it 24 hours a day and drive the world mad!

Sun is going to get too hot to handle anyway... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33935716)

Isn't the sun going to get hotter and hotter as it approaches the transition to Red Giant?

I read that long before the sun consumes http://www.universetoday.com/12648/will-earth-survive-when-the-sun-becomes-a-red-giant/ us, all the oceans in the world will boil off. http://startswithabang.com/?p=1536 (Doesn't sound healthy)

Seems that for such drastic times, a sun shade in the sky may be just the ticket!

Is that even feasible? (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935734)

Blocking out the sun in any significant ways seems kind of... difficult. Do we have the knowledge and resources to even build one and maneuver it? Is this any more useful than banning time travel?

WTF? I actually agree with the UN? (1)

RapmasterT (787426) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935754)

I find myself in the unusual and uncomfortable position of agreeing with the UN.

If there is one thing we've proven over and over throughout the decades, our climate scientists have an INCOMPLETE understanding of global climate change issues. Through the course of my lifetime I've heard new ice age coming, acid rain will dissolve our cities, farm animal flatulence is going to doom the planet, ozone layer, global warming, blah blah blah.

No matter what you think about global warming (which we're now supposed to call global climate change because we've now learned it's not actually about warming...sigh), everyone should be able to admit that we don't know all there is to know about the VERY complex global environment. So maybe...just maybe we shouldnt' be deliberately tinkering with things we actually hope will change it. Oh yeah, let's fuck with the environment deliberately, hoping we have some god damned clue what we're doing. great plan..what could go wrong?

Maybe we should just try to be responsible about our industrialized society? can we at least TRY that first???

Global warming is only part of the energy problem (2)

MtHuurne (602934) | more than 3 years ago | (#33935832)

Demand for oil and natural gas is still increasing faster than production, so even if you ignore the CO2 problem there is still the question of where we'll get our energy from. Unless you want to expand coal mining significantly, we have to switch to non-fossil fuel anyway.
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