Wednesday, August 02, 2006

climate change plans

Plan A to try to stop climate change should be to slash carbon emissions. But as long as morons like Bush and Exxon have their way, that won't happen. So a respected scientist proposes Plan B -- shoot sulphate particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect some of the sun's rays back into space. Professor Paul Crutzen, who won a Nobel for work on the ozone hole, based his idea on the effect of Mt. Pinatubo's eruption in 1991, which spewed sulphates into the air and contributed to a short-term drop in temperatures.

Crutzen's idea has some merit as a last resort. But allow me to make a modest proposal. Why not just build on Carl Sagan's theories and set off a few nukes here and there? There are some advantages. First, countries could achieve multiple goals with nuclear blasts. For example, the US could test new weapons while spewing particles into the atmosphere to keep temperatures down. Russia could blow up a few unneeded bombs. India could help reduce Pakistan's population pressures, and vice-versa.

Of course, we'd have to calibrate pretty carefully exactly HOW many bombs to set off, and where. Maybe we're better off with Plan A or B. But even my Plan C is better than business-as-usual, guaranteed global warming.

But more and more people are NOT content with business-as-usual. Bill Clinton got the leaders of 22 cities around the world to commit to reducing their carbon output, and you saw earlier the Schwarzenegger-Blair deal on having California and Britain trade carbon dioxide emissions and share clean-energy technology.

These are good efforts, but it is pathetic and dangerous that they are being done on a piecemeal basis because the US is stuck with an illegitimate administration led by cretins who believe conservation is nothing but a "personal virtue" (you know, like holding doors open for old ladies), who view science as an ideology to be twisted to their political ends and not as a source of truth, and who have their noses so far up the ass of big energy companies that they can see their lungs from the inside.


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