Tweaking the climate to save it: Who decides?

Apr 03, 2011 By CHARLES J. HANLEY , AP Special Correspondent
In this Wednesday, March 9, 2011 picture, a boy walks with an umbrella to protect himself from the rain, as dark clouds hover over him in Jammu, India. If Earth overheats, can it be artificially cooled? Should the effort begin now? Who would decide? The very idea of "geoengineering," and the unknown risks of tweaking our climate, left many participants in a March 2011 conference of international experts in Chicheley, England uneasy. (AP Photo/Channi Anand)

(AP) -- To the quiet green solitude of an English country estate they retreated, to think the unthinkable.

Scientists of earth, sea and sky, scholars of law, politics and philosophy: In three intense days cloistered behind Chicheley Hall's old brick walls, four dozen thinkers pondered the planet's fate as it grows warmer, weighed the idea of reflecting the sun to cool the atmosphere and debated the question of who would make the decision to interfere with nature to try to save the planet.

The unknown risks of "" - in this case, tweaking Earth's climate by dimming the skies - left many uneasy.

"If we could experiment with the atmosphere and literally play God, it's very tempting to a scientist," said Kenyan earth scientist Richard Odingo. "But I worry."

Arrayed against that worry is the worry that global warming - in 20 years? 50 years? - may abruptly upend the world we know, by melting much of Greenland into the sea, by shifting India's life-giving monsoon, by killing off marine life.

If research isn't done now, climatologists say, the world will face grim choices in an emergency. "If we don't understand the implications and we reach a crisis point and deploy geoengineering with only a modicum of information, we really will be playing Russian roulette," said Steven Hamburg, a U.S. Environmental Defense Fund scientist.

The question's urgency has grown as nations have failed, in years of talks, to agree on a binding long-term deal to rein in their carbon dioxide and other greenhouse-gas emissions blamed for global warming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the U.N.-sponsored science network, foresees temperatures rising as much as 6.4 degrees Celsius (11.5 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100, swelling the seas and disrupting the climate patterns that nurtured human civilization.

Science committees of the British Parliament and the U.S. Congress urged their governments last year to look at immediately undertaking climate engineering research - to have a "Plan B" ready, as the British panel put it, in case the diplomatic logjam persists.

Britain's national science academy, the Royal Society, subsequently organized the Chicheley Hall conference with Hamburg's EDF and the association of developing-world science academies. From six continents, they invited a blue-ribbon cross-section of atmospheric physicists, oceanographers, geochemists, environmentalists, international lawyers, psychologists, policy experts and others, to discuss how the world should oversee such unprecedented - and unsettling - research.

An Associated Press reporter was invited to sit in on their discussions, generally off the record, as they met in large and small groups in plush wood-paneled rooms, in conference halls, or outdoors among the manicured trees and formal gardens of this 300-year-old Royal Society property 40 miles (64 kilometers) northwest of London, a secluded spot where Britain's Special Operations Executive trained for secret missions in World War II.

Provoking and parrying each other over questions never before raised in human history, the conferees were sensitive to how the outside world might react.

"There's the `slippery slope' view that as soon as you start to do this research, you say it's OK to think about things you shouldn't be thinking about," said Steve Rayner, co-director of Oxford University's geoengineering program. Many geoengineering techniques they have thought about look either impractical or ineffective.

Painting rooftops white to reflect the sun's heat is a feeble gesture. Blanketing deserts with a reflective material is logistically challenging and a likely environmental threat. Launching giant mirrors into space orbit is exorbitantly expensive.

On the other hand, fertilizing the ocean with iron to grow CO2-eating plankton has shown some workability, and Massachusetts' prestigious Woods Hole research center is planning the biggest such experiment. Marine clouds are another route: Scientists at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado are designing a test of brightening ocean clouds with sea-salt particles to reflect the sun.

Those techniques are necessarily limited in scale, however, and unable to alter planet-wide warming. Only one idea has emerged with that potential.

"By most accounts, the leading contender is stratospheric aerosol particles," said climatologist John Shepherd of Britain's Southampton University.

The particles would be sun-reflecting sulfates spewed into the lower stratosphere from aircraft, balloons or other devices - much like the sulfur dioxide emitted by the eruption of the Philippines' Mount Pinatubo in 1991, estimated to have cooled the world by 0.5 degrees C (0.9 degrees F) for a year or so.

Engineers from the University of Bristol, England, plan to test the feasibility of feeding sulfates into the atmosphere via a kilometers-long (miles-long) hose attached to a tethered balloon.

Shepherd and others stressed that any sun-blocking "SRM" technique - for solar radiation management - would have to be accompanied by sharp reductions in carbon dioxide emissions on the ground and some form of carbon dioxide removal, preferably via a chemical-mechanical process not yet perfected, to suck the gas out of the air and neutralize it.

Otherwise, they point out, the stratospheric sulfate layer would have to be built up indefinitely, to counter the growing greenhouse effect of accumulating carbon dioxide. And if that SRM operation shut down for any reason, temperatures on Earth would shoot upward.

The technique has other downsides: The sulfates would likely damage the ozone layer shielding Earth from damaging ultraviolet rays; they don't stop atmospheric carbon dioxide from acidifying the oceans; and sudden cooling of the Earth would itself alter climate patterns in unknown ways.

"These scenarios create winners and losers," said Shepherd, lead author of a pivotal 2009 Royal Society study of geoengineering. "Who is going to decide?"

Many here worried that someone, some group, some government would decide on its own to conduct large-scale atmospheric experiments, raising global concerns - and resentment if it's the U.S. that acts, since it has done the least among industrial nations to cut greenhouse emissions. They fear some in America might push for going straight to "Plan B," rather than doing the hard work of emissions reductions.

In addition, "one of the challenges is identifying intentions, one of which could be offensive military use," said Indian development specialist Arunabha Ghosh.

Experts point out, for example, that cloud experimentation or localized solar "dimming" could - intentionally or unintentionally - cause droughts or floods in neighboring areas, arousing suspicions and international disputes.

"In some plausible but unfortunate future you could have shooting wars between your country and mine over proposals on what to do on climate change,' said the University of Michigan's Ted Parson, an environmental policy expert.

The conferees worried, too, that a "geoengineering industrial complex" might emerge, pushing to profit from deployment of its technology. And Australian economist-ethicist Clive Hamilton saw other go-it-alone threats - "cowboys" and "scientific heroes."

"I'm queasy about some billionaire with a messiah complex having a major role in geoengineering research," Hamilton said.

All discussions led to the central theme of how to oversee research.

Many environmentalists categorically oppose intentional fiddling with Earth's atmosphere, or at least insist that such important decisions rest in the hands of the U.N., since every nation on Earth has a stake in the skies above.

But at the meeting in March, Chicheley Hall experts largely assumed that a coalition of scientifically capable nations, led by the U.S. and Britain, would arise to organize "sunshade" or other engineering research, perhaps inviting China, India, Brazil and others to join in a G20-style "club" of major powers.

Then, the conferees said, an independent panel of experts would have to be formed to review the risks of proposed experiments, and give go-aheads - for research, not deployment, which would be a step awaiting fateful debates down the road.

Like Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin, John Shepherd is a fellow of the venerable Royal Society, but one facing a world those scientific pioneers could not have imagined.

"I am not enthusiastic about these ideas," Shepherd told his Chicheley Hall colleagues. But like many here he felt the world has no choice but to investigate. "You would have a risk-risk calculation to make."

Some are also making a political calculation.

If research shows the stratospheric pollutants would reverse global warming, unhappy people "would realize the alternative to reducing emissions is blocking out the sun," Hamilton observed. "We might never see blue sky again."

If, on the other hand, the results are negative, or the risks too high, and global warming's impact becomes increasingly obvious, people will see "you have no Plan B," said EDF's Hamburg - no alternative to slashing use of fossil fuels.

Either way, popular support should grow for cutting emissions.

At least that's the hope. But hope wasn't the order of the day in Chicheley Hall as Shepherd wrapped up his briefing and a troubled Odingo silenced the room.

"We have a lot of thinking to do," the Kenyan told the others. "I don't know how many of us can sleep well tonight."

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Quantum_Conundrum
3.3 / 5 (14) Apr 03, 2011
Less fluff and politics, more facts please...

Blocking out the sun with some sort of space-based reflector is actually so insanely expensive as to be beyond contemplation. Not to mention the fact that even the best mirrors are not "ideal".

The launch costs are actually so high for that project so that it would be possible to put tens or hundreds of times as many reflectors on the ground...

We haven't even done the enormous task of converting to solar and wind which we know can provide most of our power needs, and they're worried about making some cartoon reflectors which would need to have a collective total area half the size of a continent to even matter...where the hell are you going to get that much mylar and that much rocket fuel to launch it into space?

Just like a Dyson megastructure or orbital platform, you'd first need an asteroid mining facility and self-replicating robots to produce the stuff in space, because the launch costs of bulk material are too much...
kaasinees
2.9 / 5 (12) Apr 03, 2011
weathermodifcation.com

Get your paws off the fucking climate!
alec123456789
3.7 / 5 (3) Apr 03, 2011
I think it's is important to have a Plan B. I don't think it's likely that we will reduce our CO2 emissions enough. We've known about the problem for decades but have barely even started. We still shun nuclear power and have idiots talking about "clean coal".
Fertilizing the oceans and spraying salt-water into the air sound like the only two reasonable options here. As for unforeseen environmental or economic impacts... there's only one way to find out. If things so awry, we can just stop. Everything will go back to normal in a few weeks.

(and QC, that's the most intelligent, non-trolly thing I've ever heard you say.)
alec123456789
not rated yet Apr 03, 2011
weathermodifcation.com
Get your paws off the fucking climate!

(uh, you spelled it wrong.)
www.weathermodification.com/
Doug_Huffman
2.3 / 5 (9) Apr 03, 2011
Does no one else remember the Precautionary Principle?

Ain't no sickly greenie (pinko on the inside) deciding nothing for me!
Jotaf
2.6 / 5 (5) Apr 03, 2011
A human in isolation is intelligent, humanity collectively is as intelligent as a brick.

It's like a bad sci-fi novel, the hopeless race of space monkeys that simply can't do what's right, even though they all know what's coming. Let's all enjoy the party and throw poop each other 'til we die!
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (10) Apr 03, 2011
Go for it after all unintended consequences have been identified and their risks mitigated.
dogbert
2.3 / 5 (14) Apr 03, 2011
Very scary. Actions which could kill billions of human beings and could severely disrupt the ability of the earth to sustain life are scary indeed.

I think it is much better to let God play god than to let a group of fallible human beings play god.
kaasinees
2.5 / 5 (11) Apr 03, 2011
Go for it after all unintended consequences have been identified and their risks mitigated.


you are insane.
FrankHerbert
Apr 03, 2011
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
FrankHerbert
0.8 / 5 (56) Apr 03, 2011
little douggie the conservatarded septic tank (shitty on the inside) lol makes ya think!
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (13) Apr 03, 2011
Go for it after all unintended consequences have been identified and their risks mitigated.


you are insane.


Maybe you don't understand English.
I said go for it AFTER ALL the unintended consequences have been identified.
Do you know what all the unintended consequences will be?
No one else does either.
apex01
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 03, 2011
God doesn't exist. Also doug, I think I came up with a term for you. Septic tank. White on the outside, full of shit on the inside.


Black holes didn't exist to mankind's perception at one time either.
FrankHerbert
0.8 / 5 (55) Apr 03, 2011
So I guess we'll discover unicorns too.
Quantum_Conundrum
2.3 / 5 (12) Apr 03, 2011
Black holes didn't exist to mankind's perception at one time either.


Actually, that's an excellent point in that detecting a black hole is theoretically no different than detecting God himself. You cannot actually "see" the black hole, but you can see what the black hole has done.

God is the same way really. You may never "see" him in the flesh, but what you can see is the order of creation and the irreducible complexity of life and the universe itself, and this gives, as the Apostle Paul describes, a purely naturalistic route to proving and knowing that God exists.

As Paul (presumably) suggests in Hebrews and elsewhere, we know the universe, the "worlds" and life itself were created by their very order. (See Romans 1:20 and Hebrews 11:3.)

"Things which are seen were not made of things which do appear"...

Hmm, sounds like Atoms, which make all ordinary matter, and cannot be "seen" at optical wavelengths...
Quantum_Conundrum
2.5 / 5 (11) Apr 03, 2011
Anyway, the "information" argument and the "complexity" argument continue to be irrefutable as evidence for the existence of God.

As John says, "All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made which was made." In other words, there was no "second creator," or pantheon of creators, as in pagan mythology.

So the reality is that the Grand Unification Theory and the "Theory of Everything" were already solved from the beginning.

"In the beginning, GOD created the heaven and the earth..."

God is the beginning and the end, and therefore all things were made by Him, and therefore all things are unified by Him.
freethinking
1 / 5 (4) Apr 03, 2011
The best explanation of why global warming is real
http://www.battle...ned.html
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.4 / 5 (11) Apr 03, 2011
As John says, "All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made which was made."
-Unfortunately, John was not written by John but by some lying imposter:

"...early-church tradition identified him as John the Apostle, one of Jesus' Twelve Apostles. The gospel is closely related in style and content to the three surviving Epistles of John such that commentators treat the four books together. According to the majority of modern scholars, John was not the author of any of these books" -the Gospel According to WIKI
God is the beginning and the end
-At least, according to lying imposters

-Got any more evidence?
FrankHerbert
0.8 / 5 (54) Apr 03, 2011
So I guess we'll discover unicorns too.


I was comparing finding god, not finding black holes, to finding unicorns.

Also, Q_C are you actually using the bible as evidence for god? Seriously?
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.4 / 5 (10) Apr 03, 2011
As Paul (presumably) suggests in Hebrews and elsewhere
-Unfortunately, Paul was not the author of Hebrews nor of other Pauline epistles. Alas, they too were written by lying impostors. Verily.

"Since the early centuries of the church, there has been debate concerning the authorship of the anonymous Epistle to the Hebrews, and contemporary scholars reject Pauline authorship."

-By the way this thread is not about religion. You're off-topic dweeb. Where have I heard that before?
freethinking
2.5 / 5 (8) Apr 03, 2011
Otto your understanding of Christiantiy and the history of the church is very weak, WIKI is a good place to start.... but only a place to start... more information http://bible.org/...-outline

If you would like more sources.... look them up...

Quantum_Conundrum
2.1 / 5 (7) Apr 03, 2011
As Paul (presumably) suggests in Hebrews and elsewhere
-Unfortunately, Paul was not the author of Hebrews nor of other Pauline epistles. Alas, they too were written by lying impostors. Verily.

"Since the early centuries of the church, there has been debate concerning the authorship of the anonymous Epistle to the Hebrews, and contemporary scholars reject Pauline authorship."

-By the way this thread is not about religion. You're off-topic dweeb. Where have I heard that before?


The book of Hebrews is technically anonymous, but it has Paul's "signature" all over for several doctrinal reasons, which I don't expect you to understand, and as well Paul's "calling card", "Grace be with you (all). Amen," which is at the end of about half of the other Pauline letters.

Otto, you are severely and pathetically mistaken. The time of authorship of the new testament books are all known to within literally a few years.
freethinking
2.3 / 5 (6) Apr 03, 2011
QC dont confuse Otto with facts
Jotaf
2 / 5 (4) Apr 03, 2011
Just as I said, throwing poop at each other.
Quantum_Conundrum
2.2 / 5 (10) Apr 03, 2011
Also, Q_C are you actually using the bible as evidence for god? Seriously?


I was quoting the Bible to show that the authors of those passages made a valid and relevant argument which was purely naturalistic, and yet concludes the existence of God as a necessity.

Just as you can prove a black hole exists by observing its influence on the universe, you can likewise prove God's existence by observing the order and irreducible complexity of life.

The computer circuitry and networking of our computers and internet did not magically appear nor did it appear randomly. It was constructed by intelligent design, in this case, human beings working together.

Do you think that your computer or the internet could ever appear by random chance? Obviously not.

So then why do atheists believe in abiogenesis and evolution as the origins of humanity or life? you are more intelligent than a computer. Watson might beat you at Jeopardy, but you have greater general intelligence, I hope.
FrankHerbert
0.9 / 5 (56) Apr 03, 2011
Atheists have good reasons for accepting abiogenesis as the most likely cause of life on earth. I suggest you watch Carl Sagan's Cosmos if you haven't. Just because life hasn't been created in a lab doesn't mean it can't happen. Black holes haven't been created in the lab yet you have no problem twisting their existence into a half-brained reason for believing in god.
FrankHerbert
0.9 / 5 (56) Apr 03, 2011
The black hole thing just gets to me. There is a big difference between "invisible" and "absolutely no evidence for existence." Guess which category god falls into.
apex01
3 / 5 (3) Apr 03, 2011
Frank, for the record i am agnostic. I don't believe or disbelieve. I just don't know if there's a God. Just because you can't prove something doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't exist. The universe is too big to know for sure. Aristotle said it best, "the more i learn the less i know".
FrankHerbert
1 / 5 (55) Apr 03, 2011
There is a difference between proving something's existence and having reasons for believing in something's existence. There is no evidence for god. People only believe in god because they want to or are afraid not to.

The agnostic/sort-of-deist stance is much more sound but still, there is no evidence.

Also, Aristotle has a pretty poor track record for being correct.
kaasinees
1.4 / 5 (10) Apr 03, 2011
Looks like we have a scientologist in our midst. He is probably mormon to.

Maybe an half-assed attempt to convert people who are interested in science into a religion?
Quantum_Conundrum
1.8 / 5 (10) Apr 03, 2011
There is no evidence for god.


There is plenty evidence for God. You just choose to ignore it due to hard headedness and hard heartedness.

Your DNA and sexual reproduction are easily evidence for the existence of a creator God.

You don't ACTUALLY believe that crap about you being nothing more than a sequence of random accidents, do you?

Do you have any real world experience with animals, especially reproduction and life cycles? Humans and mammals have almost nothing in common with other forms of macroscopic life, in terms of life cycle. Have you ever seen a chicken hatch? or a fish or insect larva? This stuff does not have common ancestry, you ridiculous morons.

Does it have common components and traits and in some cases even common genes? Of course, but then again so do slab houses and sky scrapers share common structures too, heck even a computer shares common structures, and even common functional components with a high-rise building.
Quantum_Conundrum
1.8 / 5 (10) Apr 03, 2011
Common structures does not prove common ancestry.

Modularity of genetics, on the other hand, proves intelligent design.

Kaasiness:

Clearly you don't know what scientology is, else you wouldn't have made such a blatantly ignorant comment. Scientology has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity, and is nothing more than a ponzi scheme, currently headed up by the deranged lunatic, former Hollywood super star, Tom Cruise.

I thought you atheists prided yourselves on, you know, actually researching something and having, well, facts.

Obviously you are a hypocrite, because you post such an idiotic comment and clearly know nothing about either Christianity or Scientology, since you don't even know the difference.
FrankHerbert
0.8 / 5 (52) Apr 03, 2011


You don't ACTUALLY believe that crap


Yep.
kaasinees
1 / 5 (6) Apr 03, 2011
Clearly you don't know what scientology is


Religion+Science=Scientology
apex01
1 / 5 (2) Apr 03, 2011
Some scientists have remarked that our genes are so vastly complex that there is no way they could have evolved to that level of complexity in the 4 billion years the Earth has existed. Also, you could add the Cosmological Argument and the Golden Ratio to the basket of evidence to prove God existence. With the Cosmological Argument, you have to ask if God created the universe, then who created God? Maybe this question illustrates how child like we are and we're just 4 year old children trying figure out how to use a computer. But would all of this evidence hold up in the court of law? That's debatable.
Quantum_Conundrum
1.9 / 5 (9) Apr 03, 2011
Clearly you don't know what scientology is


Religion+Science=Scientology


No, "Scientology" IS a specific new-age religion which claims to believe that humans are possessed by trillions of aliens, called "thetans" or something, which they need to remove from themselves.

And for the record, the term "Science" appears in the Bible and is translated as such twice, once in Daniel 1:4 and again in Timothy 6:20. In the former example, the prophet and his three friends are later said to be ten times better than all the educated people of Babylon.

Also, the greek word "Logos," which is the greek origin of the suffix "-ology" in the names of the sciences, for "knowledge" or "the study of (a particular topic)" appears many times in the Bible, and in John's Gospel is even personified as the very person of God himself.

"In the beginning was the LOGOS and the LOGOS was with God and the LOGOS was God..."

The Bible is necessarily scientific.
FrankHerbert
0.8 / 5 (50) Apr 03, 2011
So why do you call yourself an agnostic? It's clear you are a deist and ashamed of it.
Quantum_Conundrum
1.9 / 5 (9) Apr 03, 2011
Also, you could add the Cosmological Argument and the Golden Ratio to the basket of evidence to prove God existence. With the Cosmological Argument, you have to ask if God created the universe, then who created God? Maybe this question illustrates how child like we are and we're just 4 year old children trying figure out how to use a computer. But would all of this evidence hold up in the court of law? That's debatable.


Within the context of the cosmological argument, which all creation arguments must fall into, the question is actually illogical to ask.

If God created time and space, and if God is the first cause, then it is not possible for God to have been created or caused by any other entity or event.

It's kind of like asking, "How does zero equal one?"

The question is nonsense, because it simply isn't possible for zero to equal one, by defintion of equality.

Thus the cosmological argument is infallible, because the first cause is God by definition.
apex01
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 03, 2011
Frank, all i'm trying to illustrate is I DON'T KNOW if god exists. If you perceive my statement differently then it's your problem.

QC, i stand corrected. My question was just personal but i hadn't analyzed the argument thoroughly enough. God is the First Cause so nothing can come before him in time, according to the argument.
Quantum_Conundrum
2.1 / 5 (7) Apr 03, 2011
Now back on the topic, does anyone ACTUALLY believe the whole alledged 11.5F increase in temperatuers by 2100? This equates to about 1.29F increase per decade.

Are they honestly claiming peak sea surface temperatures in hurricane season are going to be 34C to 35C in widespread regions of the caribbean, Gulf, and central Atlantic? If that's the case, you'll have non-stop synoptic scale 120m/s sustained "Category 7" hurricanes Like the "Day After Tomorrow" (minus the fictional cooling,) throughout the entire season, which will die only when they are sheared apart by TUTTs and other troughs...

Heck, the atlantic basin between Africa, North America, and Europe may just become permanently covered by a hemisphere scale tropical cyclone if water temperatures ever actually got that hot.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.4 / 5 (9) Apr 03, 2011
The book of Hebrews is technically anonymous, but it has Paul's "signature" all over for several doctrinal reasons, which I don't expect you to understand
Maybe not me, my dear delusionist, but I will accept the judgment of most scholars as WIKI states over your misguided delusions any day.
Your DNA and sexual reproduction are easily evidence for the existence of a creator God.
-Like I said, misguided... deluded... hopelessly corrupted.
Otto, you are severely and pathetically mistaken. The time of authorship of the new testament books are all known to within literally a few years.
-Like I said, not according to people who know what they're talking about. Unlike the people you listen to, who say you have to believe in order to understand. I say they have it backward. I understand the book is full of fabrications so I believe scholars when they say so.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.4 / 5 (10) Apr 03, 2011
Also, the greek word "Logos," which is the greek origin of the suffix "-ology"
So... By your logic I am able to conclude that the bible is path-ology because we find the word logos in it. I get it.
If God created time and space, and if God is the first cause, then it is not possible for God to have been created or caused by any other entity or event.
A first cause... I say the universe is the first cause and it needed nothing to precede it. This may or may not be true, but it suggests that a god is not needed to explain the existence of the universe.
Jayded
5 / 5 (1) Apr 04, 2011
And with outstretched shaking hands they reached towards pandorra's box.
Doug_Huffman
1.7 / 5 (6) Apr 04, 2011
These 'they' are the denizens of Pandora's Box, ghouls, trolls and zombies, our correspondents, horrors unimagined.
Calenur
4 / 5 (1) Apr 04, 2011
Clearly you don't know what scientology is, else you wouldn't have made such a blatantly ignorant comment. Scientology has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity, and is nothing more than a ponzi scheme, currently headed up by the deranged lunatic, former Hollywood super star, Tom Cruise.


The hilarity of one religion decrying another as insane is absolute rapture for me. One of these days I'm going to invent my own space-ghost and throw it into this cosmic pokemon battle.
whalio
5 / 5 (1) Apr 04, 2011
Can we have one discussion without people bringing up god and religion(for christ's sake.)

I've said it before and I'll say it again, why should we dump all this money into researching and validating geoengineering when all that money could be going towards next generation emissions cutting tech?

I do agree with QC's point though in his first post, where the hell do we plan on getting the astronomical amount of resources to go through with any one of the grandiose schemes for geoengineering?
GSwift7
1.6 / 5 (7) Apr 04, 2011
I'm with you QC, back on topic would be nice.

I have an interesting thought in regard to the question of who should be in charge of geo-engineering and what options are viable.

Of course it is the people with the money who are in charge. The people with the best science and the most money will know with the most confidence what the causes and effects of change will be. Unfortunately for the rest of the world, if the US or EU sees that a certain change will be good for our regions then that's what we will do.

Climate changes in one region will of course change climate in other regions, but the main effects of a change will be felt the strongest in the local region. It is probably useless to talk about global geoengineering. What is a good solution for one area is not always a good solution for another area. What if, for example, we could prove that global warming is good for region X. In that case, should the people who live in region X support anti-GW efforts and pay for them?
rubberman
1 / 5 (4) Apr 04, 2011
I wonder how many times the collection of people at this gathering became sidetracked by the playing god question. I can accept the possibility of a "God-like" being existing, I just find it amusing that human arrogance would have people actually believing that it is always watching it's believers.Given the complexity of the universe and likelyhood of FAR more advanced beings than anything on this planet, and considerably cooler stuff perpetually taking place in the vastness of spacetime......well that'd be like God choosing to watch Jersey shore..... I mean sure....every once in awhile a scientist will go up to the attic and dust off the remnants of that "ecosystem in a jar", and reminice about that science project from grade 2.....but then go back to work and deal with the really cool stuff. Sorry to all the devout, but we(humans)are not the cool stuff..... Plan "b" is something humanity should have in every situation regarding our home, especially givin our success rate with plan "A
GSwift7
1.6 / 5 (7) Apr 04, 2011
continued:

I'm deliberately ignoring the usual debates about GW/AGW/etc. I just think the topic in the original article is fascinating on a philosophical level. It's a question that immediately leads me to thoughts that might make for a good political/espionage/action/war novel. Imagine if the West and the East disagreed on what is best, for example. Could China stop the US and EU from doing massive cloud seeding or ocean fertilization without a war? What if North Korea started doing something to deliberately cause harm to the regional climate of California? What could the US do?

Interesting thoughts indeed. I don't think agreement is likely, since anything you do will have a + effect in one place and a - effect somewhere else. It's a case of picking the least of many evils and hoping you aren't wrong later. That still is assuming that there is some effective method of changing things on demand. I don't know the answer to that.
LariAnn
1 / 5 (3) Apr 04, 2011
IMHO, all the thinking and speculation about possible scenarios and possible solutions is all fine and dandy, so long as it remains just that. The moment some country or group of countries (or worse, heavily moneyed cartels of corporations with vested interests) take it upon themselves to disrupt climate deliberately, I would bet that we will see the next world war. As soon as a severe drought afflicts a country like India as a result of climate tampering, it will (and should) be viewed as an act of war and will cry for retaliation. After the nuclear holocaust, we won't have to worry about "global warming" for a long time. . .
GSwift7
1.6 / 5 (7) Apr 04, 2011
Here's a scary thought:

What about turning climate science into a weapon. In WW2 Japan launched thousands of balloons with incendiary bombs on timers. They were designed to drop over the US and cause wildfires. The plan was surprisingly successfull. Imagine what moder tech might make possible, and global weather reports are freely available. Fire is one way. What about releasing poisons into fishing waters, or bacteria or algea. How about an invasive species of fish or crustacian. An invasive land plant or a rodent or insect in farming lands? Africanized bees in the US is a good example of how hard it is to stop and how big of an effect it can have.

Could a good climate model become a good weapon? I think it probably could. History shows that war advances tech faster than peace. Aren't we humans messed up?
Modernmystic
1 / 5 (4) Apr 04, 2011
Bjorn Lomborg, watch "Cool It".

Nuff said.
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (10) Apr 04, 2011
What are the unintended consequences of 'tweaking' the climate?
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (7) Apr 04, 2011
and again in Timothy 6:20
OOp I forgot to point out:

"Following these arguments, a large number of modern scholars continue to reject Pauline authorship, citing various and serious problems in associating it therewith. For example, Norman Perrin analyzed the Greek used by the author or authors of the Pastoral Epistles, finding that over 1/3 of their vocabulary is not used anywhere else in the Pauline epistles..." etc. The Revelation of WIKI

-that Timothy was also written by some lying imposter who was just clever enough to add Pauls 'calling card' and 'signature' (or they were added in later- the book is a team effort, kind of like an evil WIKI) but not quite 10 times smarter than babylonians, as his lying deceptions have been found out.
The hilarity of one religion decrying another as insane is absolute rapture for me.
-But that's EXACTLY what these religions were created to do- divide the people up and set them against each other in orderly and Manageable ways.
kaasinees
1.8 / 5 (10) Apr 04, 2011
What are the unintended consequences of 'tweaking' the climate?


De-stablization. Human intervention in ecusystems should be minimized, not maximized.
Modernmystic
1.8 / 5 (8) Apr 04, 2011
What are the unintended consequences of 'tweaking' the climate?


De-stablization. Human intervention in ecusystems should be minimized, not maximized.


According to you we're already tweaking the environment, so are you saying that if we end up with runaway greenhouse we should minimize our intervention and let it burn us out? Or should we maximize our response and stop it?

It's all relative isn't it :)

See this is the problem with most environmentalists. They see EVERYTHING humans do as BAD, and NOTHING we do as good. Almost the textbook definition of a fanatic.
ryggesogn2
1.9 / 5 (13) Apr 04, 2011
Environmentalism is a religion so discussion of religion is appropriate.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.2 / 5 (5) Apr 04, 2011
Environmentalism is a religion so discussion of religion is appropriate.
Why is everything a religion with you?
Shelgeyr
2.3 / 5 (9) Apr 05, 2011
Neither the climate nor the Earth need saving, thank you very much. These efforts are all just grabs for power and money, and the sooner that "Joe Everybody" realizes this, the better we'll all be.
maxcypher
5 / 5 (1) Apr 10, 2011
Unless we learn to view ourselves as part of one planet, one ecosystem -- we don't have a chance.
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (9) Apr 10, 2011
Environmentalism is a religion so discussion of religion is appropriate.
Why is everything a religion with you?

It's not.
FrankHerbert
0.7 / 5 (48) Apr 10, 2011
As far as religions go, Environmentalism would be one of the less bad ones.
dogbert
1.5 / 5 (8) Apr 10, 2011
As far as religions go, Environmentalism would be one of the less bad ones.


Not really.
ryggesogn2
1.9 / 5 (9) Apr 10, 2011
As far as religions go, Environmentalism would be one of the less bad ones.

Depends. If you are human, Gaia worshipers will eagerly sacrifice humans for Gaia to live.
dogbert
1.9 / 5 (9) Apr 10, 2011
... Gaia worshipers will eagerly sacrifice humans for Gaia to live.


Very true.
ryggesogn2
1.9 / 5 (9) Apr 12, 2011
"UN document would give 'Mother Earth' same rights as humans"
"The wording may yet evolve, but the general structure is meant to mirror Bolivia's Law of the Rights of Mother Earth, which Bolivian President Evo Morales enacted in January."
"In indigenous Andean culture, the Earth deity known as Pachamama is the centre of all life, and humans are considered equal to all other entities."
http://www.canada...ory.html
Is not Bolivia going down the same socialist path as Venezuela?
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Apr 12, 2011
Is not Bolivia going down the same socialist path as Venezuela?
You do realize that the Bolivian Zeitgeist has more in common with your Christian views than with socialism of any form, right? After all, the pachamama is a religious construct to the Bolivian people. Effectively this is their law that honors 'God'.
dogbert
1.5 / 5 (8) Apr 12, 2011
"UN document would give 'Mother Earth' same rights as humans"


Naturalism is pervasive in today's world. It may be called Gaia, Pachamama, Nature, Mother Earth or any of many other names but it pervades particularly the environmental groups.

Strangely, many who espouse Naturalism will deny that they are religious, often claiming that they are atheists.