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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Schwarzenegger and Blair Fight Global Warming - It's Either that or Sulphur Bombs

Technorati tags: , , , while and deal with , sits on his hands

A Nobel prize winning climate researcher has a radical solution to global warming, The Independent reports:

A Nobel Prize-winning scientist has drawn up an emergency plan to save the world from global warming, by altering the chemical makeup of Earth's upper atmosphere. Professor Paul Crutzen, who won a Nobel Prize in 1995 for his work on the hole in the ozone layer, believes that political attempts to limit man-made greenhouse gases are so pitiful that a radical contingency plan is needed.

In a polemical scientific essay to be published in the August issue of the journal Climate Change, he says that an "escape route" is needed if global warming begins to run out of control.

Professor Crutzen has proposed a method of artificially cooling the global climate by releasing particles of sulphur in the upper atmosphere, which would reflect sunlight and heat back into space. The controversial proposal is being taken seriously by scientists because Professor Crutzen has a proven track record in atmospheric research.

A fleet of high-altitude balloons could be used to scatter the sulphur high overhead, or it could even be fired into the atmosphere using heavy artillery shells, said Professor Crutzen, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Germany.

The effect of scattering sulphate particles in the atmosphere would be to increase the reflectance, or "albedo", of the Earth, which should cause an overall cooling effect.

Other than the color (yellow), I'm not sure why it has to be sulphur. Would we be fighting global warming with global stink?

Crutzen's plan "is so controversial that some scientists opposed its publication in the peer-reviewed scientific press, fearing that it may encourage the view that it is easier to treat the symptoms rather than the causes of climate change," the Independent reported. Let's save that idea for Plan B.

So, we turn to Tony Blair and, of all people, Arnold Schwarzenegger. A quick side trip, first. Schwarzenegger is often referred to as the 'Governator' - this annoys me to no end. The latin word for 'governor' is gubernator. There's not reason to make up a new word to turn the Governor of California into a doppelbock. Besides, since it's pronounced 'Goober-Nator', it's funnier anyway.

Anyway, back to global warming. The Gubernator and the Poodle have joined forces to get around the Chimp on global climate change. The Guardian reports:

Tony Blair yesterday sidestepped the Bush administration's refusal to act on climate change by signing what was hailed as a ground-breaking agreement with California, the world's 12th largest carbon emitter, to fight global warming.

Downing Street made no attempt to disguise the fact that the deal is designed to get round Republican objections to states imposing mechanisms to cut carbon emissions. With other US states also interested or involved in carbon trading markets, the path is being opened to bring US business into international efforts to fight climate change, even though international progress has been stymied by the Bush administration's refusal to sign up to binding targets in the Kyoto protocol.

In June, the Western Governors' Association moved to act on their own to address global warming. At the time, ABC News reported:

Governors of states in the U.S. West approved proposals over the weekend to add cleaner energy resources to meet the region's growing demand for electricity and they called for reductions in greenhouse gases linked to global warming.

The Western Governors Association, which represents 19 states and three U.S.-flag islands in the Pacific, passed measures on Sunday that call for 30,000 new megawatts of clean energy supplies such as solar and geothermal power by 2015, and development of cleaner fuels like ethanol and biodiesel and climate change policies for the West.

Add the UK into that mix and you have a real impact. I wrote an earlier post that communities are also jumping on the global warming bandwagon, despite Bush's inaction. In an article titled, Global Warming, Local Hope, Paul Loeb wrote, "238 cities have signed the US Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement, from New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago to Omaha, Charlottesville, and Laredo. Together they represent 44 million people and greenhouse gas emissions exceeding those of the combined population of Great Britain, the Netherlands and Scandinavia." The US Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement is an agreement to abide by the Kyoto standards.

And, if that doesn't work, we can always shoot stink bombs into the sky.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think Sulfur was chosen because it's cheap and is a known quantity in the atmosphere.