Sunday, October 03, 2010

Juliet Eilperin: If we don't get climate hoax legislation, we may have to start shooting sulfur into the air with World War II-era howitzers

Threat of global warming sparks U.S. interest in geoengineering
It's come to this: Climate-conscious policymakers are beginning to contemplate the possibility of playing God with the weather in the hope of slowing global warming.
Climate engineering can be divided into two basic categories, both of which are untested on a large scale: solar radiation management, which aims to deflect sunlight away from the Earth, and carbon dioxide removal, which takes already released greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.

The first approach is relatively cheap and easy to deploy - researchers envision spraying small metallic particles or sulfur into the stratosphere, which could be accomplished with jets or even World War II-era howitzers - but this would do nothing to address the root causes of climate change or some of its worst effects, such as ocean acidification....University of Maryland distinguished professor of economics Thomas Schelling said "field experiments are going to be essential" to determine whether humans can manipulate the climate in a responsible and effective way.

"If solar radiation management is a bad idea, the sooner we discover that the better," said Schelling, who serves on the National Commission on Energy Policy task force.

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