Sunday, May 12, 2013

New Yorker: "Everything we use that emits carbon dioxide needs to be replaced with something that doesn’t". Does that include our lungs?

Geoengineering, Carbon Dioxide, and Inventing Our Way Out of Climate Change : The New Yorker
We’ve failed collectively. As Ryan Lizza explained in miserable detail in 2010, the United States government couldn’t pass a tepid, eviscerated law. Activists have failed. We’ve all failed morally: a problem created by the world’s rich will now crush the world’s poor. In a grand sense it’s also a failure of the creators, and deniers, of climate change: the Exxon-Mobils, say, or the Wall Street Journal editorial page. A victory isn’t worth much if your children and grandchildren will one day think of you with anger and shame.
...We should design our cities for a future with terrible weather. But solving the problem of climate change through the U.N. is like a small man with olive oil on his hands trying to pull a whale from the water.

Asking for personal sacrifice is fine for the west. We should ride bikes, turn off the lights, and eat less meat. But the number of people in the world who want cars, lights, and meat increases every day—and most are in countries that did very little to get us to four hundred. We can ask that China do a little better; there are a million little things that make emissions lower and our lives better. But the west created this problem through gluttony; we can’t solve it by demanding the asceticism of others.

Ultimately, we have to invent our way out. Everything we use that emits carbon dioxide needs to be replaced with something that doesn’t, whether a car or a cooking stove. Many people are working toward this goal. Many more need to. And then there’s the dangerous, fraught, and potentially essential prospect of geoengineering. Can we suck carbon dioxide or methane down from the atmosphere? Can we shoot something up there that reduces the temperature? Every option is dangerous and complicated. But every option should be studied and tested. Geoengineering, as Michael Specter wrote last year, is the scientific equivalent of chemotherapy: it’s dreadful but it may be the only way to prevent mass calamity.


Don said...


M Harris said...

There is little to be said regarding the utter stupidity & over emotional appeal in this article. But this does illustrate the desperation to hold onto a belief with the ever dwindling evidence for AGW. This often happens when a belief is challenged, evidence accumulates against it, and people start to change their minds, the journalists (as in this article) turn to ever more scary predictions, to grab back the flock. However this will eventually stop working as it becomes noise, not science & the public knows the difference. I don't worry about what my grandchildren will think of me, I am to teach my son the different between group think & logical deduction. I will teach my son how to think, and not what to think and it is these people who are the subject of hate from the masses of green leftists who would run civilisation into the group because they have failed to think critically their hole lives.

Anonymous said...

I am reminded of the entry in the old Unix 'fortune' file parodying the system 'disk full' announcements:

/earth is 97% full. Please delete anyone you can.

eco-geek said...

Dangerous stuff this CO2. Yesterday I scalded my self trying to cool my cup of tea by blowing on it. Yes you can guess! I forgot with 400ppm in the atmosphere plus my own meagre metabolic addition it had the opposite effect and my drink boiled due to the enhanced back radiation.

Anonymous said...

As the chorus sings in Peter Weiss's play, The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade [with my insertions]:

[We'll] Fight [both] land and sea
All men want to be [carbon] free
If they don't
never mind
we'll abolish all mankind!

[or learn to breathe out SO3]