Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Global warming solved

Rolling Stone Magazine has an article about a well-respected scientist who believes he has a simple solution to global warming:

Wood's proposal was not technologically complex. It's based on the idea, well-proven by atmospheric scientists, that volcano eruptions alter the climate for months by loading the skies with tiny particles that act as mini-reflectors, shading out sunlight and cooling the Earth. Why not apply the same principles to saving the Arctic? Getting the particles into the stratosphere wouldn't be a problem -- you could generate them easily enough by burning sulfur, then dumping the particles out of high-flying 747s, spraying them into the sky with long hoses or even shooting them up there with naval artillery. They'd be invisible to the naked eye, Wood argued, and harmless to the environment. Depending on the number of particles you injected, you could not only stabilize Greenland's polar ice -- you could actually grow it. Results would be quick: If you started spraying particles into the stratosphere tomorrow, you'd see changes in the ice within a few months. And if it worked over the Arctic, it would be simple enough to expand the program to encompass the rest of the planet. In effect, you could create a global thermostat, one that people could dial up or down to suit their needs (or the needs of polar bears).

Would it work? I don't know. But the first thing that would have to be done is, as must be done with alcoholics, convince our leaders to admit we have a problem. Maybe they have been reluctant to admit it because they feared the cost of the solution would be too high. But now that we may have a simple, fairly cheap solution that just might work, will everyone drop the pretense and admit global warming is real?

Read the entire article here.

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