|The mad scientists from comic books are not mere fiction|
Our excessive greenhouse gas emissions are trapping too much sunlight, so some of these ideas have centred in ways to reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the earth (as opposed to reducing the amount of GHGs entering the atmosphere...).
George Bush proposes to deal with climate change by means of smoke and mirrors. So what’s new? Only that it is no longer just a metaphor. After six years of obfuscation and denial, the US government now insists that we find ways to block some of the sunlight reaching the earth. This means launching either mirrors or clouds of small particles into the atmosphere. - Escaping the Matrix - Lifestyles Without LimitsUnsurprisingly, a new study shows just one obvious outcome to such a tactic - potential worldwide droughts:
Emulating the sun-dimming effects of large volcanic eruptions to slow the Earth's greenhouse effect, as some have proposed, may just make matters worse, say scientists studying the effects of nature's recent volcanics.I shall reiterate what I've said before:
The eruption of the Philippine's Mount Pinatubo in 1991 shows that the far-flung effects of its sun-blocking particles led to a marked decrease in precipitation worldwide.
An attempt to mimic volcanoes to cool the Earth by blocking solar energy reaching the Earth's surface could have similar short-term effects — which could be worse than global warming.
"They're all designed to cut the incoming (solar) radiation," said climate researcher Kevin Trenberth, referring to various proposals to "geo-engineer" our way out of global warming. But you can't engineer the climate without thinking about the entire flow of that incoming heat, he added.That heat flow warms tropical oceans, which evaporates lots of water. The water vapor moves to higher latitudes, where it rains down and releases heat that can radiate back into space.
"So if you are changing this flow of energy," said Trenberth, who works at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), "it's going to have an impact."The immediate effect is less rain falling worldwide. In other words: drought. - Discovery
For myself, these schemes are, despite the credentials of their proponents, all a continuation of the simplistic reductionist thinking that got us into this mess in the first place. As humans we seem to have a curious mixture of complete awe over the complexities of natural systems, whilst somehow retaining a dangerous belief we can manipulate and manage them. Such simplistic tinkering reminds me of a ‘Whack-a-Mole‘ game - where you defeat a problem in one place, and another pops up somewhere else as a direct result. And, while scientists are busy playing this game, grappling with an infinite chain reaction of events, the rest of the world continues with their industry and lifestyle habits - resting in the assurance that a saviour of the world, in the form of a bespectacled white lab-coat wearing scientist, will harness and wield the forces of nature to shape our future according to how we want to live (is it just me, or is the scientist starting to sound more like one of those super-villians from a batman movie..?).Of concern should be continued inaction by nation states to address climate change in the present. There is an overwhelming tendency to put our hopes on inventors and scientists to conjure up a solution to global warming. The longer we continue with this very uncertain, even futile, hope, the greater the likelihood that planet-meddling schemes like blocking the sun will be actioned by increasingly frantic governmental bodies trying to, finally, 'do something'.
If, after spending trillions of dollars on these ideas, they don’t solve our problems (or magnify them), will we get a refund? Of course not. But, more importantly, they wouldn’t be able to turn back the clock - to get us back to this moment in time, today, where we still have the possiblity to do something tangible (oh, unless we believe they actually can turn back the clock too?). - Five Ways to Save the World