Thursday, April 09, 2009

The White House and climate change

I came across an article today called "Obama looking at cooling air to fight warming" and I don't know whether to think of it as hopeful or terrifying. Here's part of what it says:

Tinkering with Earth's climate to chill runaway global warming — a radical idea once dismissed out of hand — is being discussed by the White House as a potential emergency option, the president's new science adviser said Wednesday.

That's because global warming is happening so rapidly, John Holdren told The Associated Press in his first interview since being confirmed last month.

The concept of using technology to purposely cool the climate is called geoengineering. One option raised by Holdren and proposed by a Nobel Prize-winning scientist includes shooting pollution particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun's rays.

Using such an experimental measure is only being thought of as a last resort, Holdren said.
Scientists say they worry about side effects that they don't anticipate.
Holdren didn't spell out under what circumstances such extreme measures might ever be called for. And he emphasized they are not something to rely on.

"It would be preferable by far," he said, "to solve this problem by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases."

Yet there is already significant opposition building to the House Democratic leaders' bill aimed at achieving President Barack Obama's goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050.

What is wrong with people? It is essential that we do something. But until we really and truly confront the evils of capitalism I don't think we will.

UPDATE: Oh my goodness. Just go read this: "What will global warming look like? Scientists point to Australia"

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