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Earth Science

More Climate Scientists Now Support Geoengineering 458

Posted by Soulskill
from the this-earth-is-busted-let's-build-a-new-one dept.
ofcourseyouare writes "The Independent is a UK newspaper which has been pushing hard for cuts in CO2 emissions for years. It recently polled a group of 'the world's leading climate scientists,' revealing a 'growing support for geoengineering' in addition to cutting CO2 — not as a substitute. For example, Jim Lovelock, author of The Gaia Theory, comments: 'I disagree that geoengineering the climate is a dangerous distraction and I disagree that on no account should it ever be considered. I strongly agree that we now need a "plan B" where a geoengineering strategy is drawn up in parallel with other measures to curb CO2 emissions.' Professor Kerry Emanuel of MIT said, 'While a geoengineering solution is bound to be less than desirable, the probability of getting global agreement on emissions reductions before it is too late is very small.'"
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More Climate Scientists Now Support Geoengineering

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 03, 2009 @02:19PM (#26312741)
    Great. Geoengineering. Us trying to "solve" a natural problem. Can you say "rabbits in Australia?" Everytime we try one of these "solutions" the result is trouble. I would be agreeable to letting the scientists play geoengineers if they agree to let us violently kill them WHEN it fucks things up even worse.
    • by williamhb (758070) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @06:02PM (#26314457) Journal

      Great. Geoengineering. Us trying to "solve" a natural problem. Can you say "rabbits in Australia?" Everytime we try one of these "solutions" the result is trouble. I would be agreeable to letting the scientists play geoengineers if they agree to let us violently kill them WHEN it fucks things up even worse.

      Actually, not every time. The introduction of the cactoblastis moth to Australia [asgap.org.au], to deal with prickly pear, was very successful. But I'm not so keen on the modern attempts at geoengineering -- dumping gazillions of tons of chemicals into a chaotic system without any chance of running a realistic trial first (only a simulation that by definition can only deal with known variables), and where you haven't got a spare atmosphere if you muck this one up.

  • Terraforming Earth (Score:2, Interesting)

    by argent (18001)

    I guess we're going to learn how to terraform other planets by starting out with this one.

    Because we have to.

    • by gmuslera (3436) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @03:02PM (#26313141) Homepage Journal
      Terraforming other planets first have the advantage that if we mess things up, we still have this world to live on.

      Now, if "fixing" this we mess things up a lot, we wouldnt be able to run nowhere. How much safety margin we have for playing a bit with the system before it runs wildly out of control? And... how better will be the measures they will take over, i.e. breeding butterflies?
  • by BlueParrot (965239) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @02:22PM (#26312781)

    If attempted this will likely turn out to be as stupid a decision as it was to introduce western predators to Australia in the hope that they would help fix the problem caused by introducing rats and rabbits. When it comes to nature and our ecosystem the rule of thumb ought to be "leave it the fuck alone".

    • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Saturday January 03, 2009 @02:36PM (#26312929)

      When it comes to nature and our ecosystem the rule of thumb ought to be "leave it the fuck alone".

      Well, technically, the rule of thumb should be "understand first, act later" and in any event if you decide to act do it in a controlled environment first.

      • Henry Paulson (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bussdriver (620565)

        Is it wise to give time to people who were WRONG about global warming?

        Isn't it like hiring the former head of Goldman Sachs to save USA's banking system??

        I'd rather follow the advice of the people who were right from the beginning.

    • by Adambomb (118938) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @02:40PM (#26312957) Journal

      We exist, so leaving the environment "alone" is a bit of a moot point, unless you happen to be down with just offing all of humanity. The contingencies this story are describing are for the case that we're already fucked and cannot fix the environment insofar as it supports human life simply by changing our emissions and outputs.

      We're a parameter in the worlds biosphere, not external observers. The only way to have NO impact on the environment is to not be a part of it.

    • by 4D6963 (933028) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @02:43PM (#26312987)

      Yeah, right, that's as if early physicians said "hmmmm it did no good when we tried to bleed these sick guys or give them leeches, maybe we should just leave the human body alone". Oh noes we made mistakes in the past when trying to fix a problem! Let's all stop trying to fix problems!

      Besides, we've already done a bunch of geoengineering by releasing all these gases in the atmosphere. Emitting less of them is also geoengineering, so we're knee deep in the shit we created and we have to do something anyways. Instead of pondering "to geoengineer or not to geoengineer" maybe we should look for geoengineering ideas and use all our imagination and knowledge to find out why they wouldn't work or why they would be a bad idea.

      • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Saturday January 03, 2009 @03:08PM (#26313187)

        Yeah, right, that's as if early physicians said "hmmmm it did no good when we tried to bleed these sick guys or give them leeches

        Actually, in the right circumstances bleeding and the use of leeches are effective treatments. Particularly leeches: the compound they use to keep blood flowing acts like a blood thinner, like Heparin.

        But otherwise yeah, I tend to agree. It's a matter of risk/benefit analysis, really. Is doing nothing (or rather, maintaining the status quo ante) more risky than trying to fix the problem? There's apparently considerable risk whichever way we jump, so we're going to have to something sooner or later.

        The real problems here are (and will continue to be) shortsighted politics, more than scientific or technological issues. Right now, nobody can agree on a solution because any such agreement requires that someone take a hit, and nobody trusts the highly-politicized science involved sufficiently to make that possible. Best guess? We're going to march right over the cliff.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Q-Hack! (37846) *

        Its a bit different...

        when physicians make a mistake you kill a few hundred people at the most.

        Geoengineering has the potential to wipe out the entire life structure on the planet.

      • by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted@@@slashdot...org> on Saturday January 03, 2009 @03:40PM (#26313427)

        The problem is, that we only have one earth. You can't just try something, an if the patient dies, know not to do it to the next one. There is no next one for a very loooong time.
        You deciding otherwise does not change this fact.

        So we have to live with what we've got and be as careful as we can. What would you do when you would have to put a kernel update on the world bank server? Either you would try to avoid it, or you would make damn sure it works, by setting up a controlled mirror environment which comes as close to the original as possible. Which is nearly impossible for global effects.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Ambitwistor (1041236)

        Besides, we've already done a bunch of geoengineering by releasing all these gases in the atmosphere. Emitting less of them is also geoengineering, so we're knee deep in the shit we created and we have to do something anyways.

        Emitting less of them is also geoengineering, but at least we have a pretty good idea of what that would do, because we know what the planet was like before we started adding those gases in the first place. Any other scheme is inherently riskier, because we don't have direct analogs. (e.g., we know what volcanoes do to the climate. But we don't know what "a few major volcanos every year in the presence of continued increasing CO2 levels" would do, which is effectively what aerosol geoengineering would ul

    • by Adambomb (118938)

      We exist, so leaving the environment "alone" is a bit of a moot point, unless you happen to be down with just offing all of humanity. The contingencies this story are describing are for the case that we're already fucked and cannot fix the environment insofar as it supports human life simply by changing our emissions and outputs.

      We're a parameter in the worlds biosphere, not external observers. The only way to have NO impact on the environment is to not be a part of it, which may end up being the solution f

    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      Except that in this case, if we do nothing, we're dead. If they did nothing in Australia in regards to the bunny population, maybe things would have turned out OK on their own. Not so this time. We have nothing to lose, so why not try to fix it, even if it means taking daring risks and doing things we've never done before?
    • The problem is we haven't left it alone for a long time. This is no more wrong than building millions of cars and factories to pollute the earth or cutting down a fair portion of our trees to pave over huge swaths of the planet.
  • So wait (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bobnova (1435535) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @02:22PM (#26312787)
    We've got a huge dead zone in the gulf of mexico due to artificially fertilized algae blooms, and this plan calls for

    schemes such as fertilising the oceans with iron to stimulate algal blooms

    that doesn't sound like a real great idea. Bonus points to the article for misspelling "fertilizing".

    • Re:So wait (Score:5, Informative)

      by 4D6963 (933028) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @02:47PM (#26313015)

      Bonus points to the article for misspelling "fertilizing".

      OMG troll. It's from a UK newspaper. Your local dialect and its alternative spellings are irrelevant to them.

    • by evanbd (210358)

      I haven't looked at this particular article, but most iron fertilization schemes talk about the Southern Ocean, large regions of which appear to be iron-deficient. I believe the idea is to create less extreme algal blooms, which act as food sources for things like krill that create carbonaceous exoskeletons that then fall to the ocean floor. So the idea is to get rid of dead zones rather than create them.

      Whether this is a good idea or not, whether it's needed or not, and what unintended consequences it ha

    • Re:So wait (Score:5, Informative)

      by N1ck0 (803359) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @03:11PM (#26313215)

      Then of course there is the ph problem with fertilizing the oceans discovered in the past 2-3 years. Forcing the absorption of CO2 into the ocean tends to cause the creation of carbonic acid, which eats calcium. Calcium provides the building blocks and protective shells for many simple microscopic oceanic plant/animal life. It also will eat away at the sells of crustaceans.

      Just a small pH change in the ocean can collapse the entire food chain.

      Of course you can counter this by adding quicklime to the ocean (which is pretty costly). And you can balance the nutrition loss by adding more nitrogen to the water. Of course that means that you essentially have dumped a bunch of materials you mined (by producing a lot of CO2) into the ocean to re-balance an already balanced ecosystem.

      Considering just 5 years ago the prevailing thought was that the ocean could sequester an almost unlimited amount of CO2, its pretty obvious that we don't fully understand how badly tinkering with it could f-things up.

      • Re:So wait (Score:4, Interesting)

        by budgenator (254554) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @05:11PM (#26314115) Journal

        Adding Fe to fertilize the algae, causes the algae to consume the dissolved CO2 in the water, so your argument is nonsensical. Fertilizing the algae will not only not effect the mount of CO2 absorbed by the seawater from the air, but will reduce the amount of CO2 in the water.

  • It wouldn't possibly be the same climate scientists that would design and implement these mega billion dollar projects, would it?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Ambitwistor (1041236)

      Like it's the climate scientists who design and implement CO2 abatement policies? No, that's economists and politicians. Geoengineering is an ENGINEERING project. Scientists might tell engineers how much needs to happen, but they're not the ones who would design, build, or deploy the devices.

      Besides, if you're insinuating that climate geoengineering is all a scientific conspiracy to get funding dollars, that's pretty lame. Even if you're a conspiracy nutjob, how is inventing a cheaper solution (geoengin

      • by evanbd (210358)

        Even if you're a conspiracy nutjob, how is inventing a cheaper solution (geoengineering) than existing plans (emissions abatement) going to get them more money?

        (Not that I think there's a conspiracy, but...)

        Competitive market forces work even for invented problems. If I can solve a fake problem cheaper than you can, I can get more of the funding dollars.

        This just goes to show that conspiracy theories can be as fluid as needed to accommodate data that conflicts with the starting axiom that a conspiracy exists...

  • by RobinH (124750) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @02:35PM (#26312917) Homepage

    Highlander 2? Yeah, I tried to forget it too...

    • by grahamd0 (1129971)

      Wait a minute, are you saying that these climate scientists are suggesting we save the environment with a sci-fi force field and then decapitate an alien dude with a train?

      Sweet.

  • Cost/benefit? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rrohbeck (944847) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @02:36PM (#26312927)

    Something tells me that if you do the math, cutting CO2 emissions will be way cheaper and safer than any of the options listed in the article. Seeding the oceans with iron, one of the more reasonable sounding ideas... OK, but how much iron would have to be mixed into the oceans to get rid of billions of tons of atmospheric carbon? At what cost?

    • by gmuslera (3436)
      Sometimes benefit, as in the difference between survival and extintion, makes any cost worth of it. How much a life worth? and all/most lives in the planet?

      But the problem here is not how much it will cost, but if it will work or even make things worse.
  • Just brilliant (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ErikTheRed (162431) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @02:39PM (#26312949) Homepage
    I mean, the way I usually go around getting people to give me deeply considered answers is to do a poll. How many of these scientists actually thought the question through? How many actually have enough expertise and experience to make their responses meaningful even if they had thought it through.

    Seriously, is this science or fucking American Idol?!?

    With any poll, you also have to consider who commissioned the poll, who implemented it, what the agendas are, etc. Because nobody does this shit for free, and there's always an angle.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 03, 2009 @02:40PM (#26312959)

    The article was pretty short on details. First, I would hardly call 54% of 80 experts a statistically significant number. Also, who are these experts. I recall the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change claimed some 2500 scientists and experts but when you actually looked at the make up of the group there were huge numbers of non scientists. Additionally, a good number of the scientists who were listed requested their names be removed from the list.

    More importantly, when we try to "engineer" the atmosphere we are asking for trouble. We don't understand how all of this works and in fact, it may not be a problem at all. There is some evidence that suggests carbon FOLLOWS warming buy several hundreds of years. There seems to be a small but growing group of people that feel the sun's activities are far more responsible for warming and cooling that carbon.

    Additionally, Methane and water vapor are far more potent as greenhouse gases than carbon.

    Finally, I just read that temperatures peaked in '98 and have actually cooled by about a half degree or so. It seems that the earth has always warmed and cooled in cycles. I think it is far more effective to effect local solutions than to risk geo-engineering with processes that we don't understand and really can't control.

    I see so many examples of mankind engineering something and then later finding out it was a mistake.

    • by Ambitwistor (1041236) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @03:24PM (#26313297)

      Sheesh, do you get all your climate science off skeptic web sites? Your whole post is nothing but a laundry list of long-debunked talking points.

      There is some evidence that suggests carbon FOLLOWS warming buy several hundreds of years.

      You're talking about the glacial-interglacial cycle. That's long been a prediction of Milaknovitch theory, well before any such lag was actually measured. It doesn't mean that CO2 isn't a greenhouse gas, or that it doesn't cause warming. It means that there are feedbacks between the climate and the carbon cycle. When glacial temperatures rise, CO2 levels increase (due to, e.g., outgassing from the oceans), as predicted by theory. Increased CO2 levels, in turn, add to the temperature rise. If you leave out the CO2 greenhouse effect, you can't reproduce the amount of warming observed in the glacial-interglacial cycle.

      There seems to be a small but growing group of people that feel the sun's activities are far more responsible for warming and cooling that carbon.

      If you're talking about the modern warming period, there isn't a growing group of climate scientists who believe that; far fewer believe that now than they did 10 or 20 years ago. The evidence is strongly against it, since the Sun's activities during that period don't actually agree with the warming which is observed.

      In the past, solar activity has indeed had significant effects on climate. It can explain a substantial amount (but by no means all) of the warming in the early 20th century. However, solar irradiance simply hasn't changed very much since the 1950s, and can't explain the warming since then, even if you appeal to speculative indirect effects like cosmic ray modulation of cloud cover (as comic rays also haven't changed in a way to explain the observed warming).

      Additionally, Methane and water vapor are far more potent as greenhouse gases than carbon.

      Once again, that has nothing to do with the fact that CO2 is a potent greenhouse gas, and we're adding a lot of it to the atmosphere.

      Finally, I just read that temperatures peaked in '98 and have actually cooled by about a half degree or so.

      That's wrong. January 2008 was 0.5 degrees cooler than 2007 on average, but a monthly fluctuation in temperature does not mean the Earth is experiencing a cooling trend.

      It seems that the earth has always warmed and cooled in cycles.

      The Earth has natural cycles, but there isn't any natural cycle which predicts what we've observed in the modern warming period.

      I think it is far more effective to effect local solutions than to risk geo-engineering with processes that we don't understand and really can't control.

      Global solutions may be required to global problems, but geoengineering is indeed riskier than other alternatives.

  • by hackus (159037) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @02:45PM (#26312999) Homepage

    My reply to professor Kerry Emanuel, M.I.T.

    Fine. You want to do geoengineering?

    Get yourself on a probe launch to Mars and do it there. Leave the EARTH ALONE.

    It is my belief that when we ON PURPOSE start trying to tune the atmosphere is where the real problems will begin.

    People like this are so full of themselves, they are willing to risk the entire biosphere over crack pot, unproven ideas.

    -Hack

    • by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @02:55PM (#26313077)

      It is my belief that when we ON PURPOSE start trying to tune the atmosphere is where the real problems will begin.

      You are perhaps unaware that choosing an "acceptable" CO2 level, and trying to make that level the actual one (by, say, reducing emissions of CO2) is an attempt to "tune the atmosphere".

      Or did you perhaps think that the amount of CO2 in the air the last ten thousand years is the "correct" amount, and the CO2 levels at other points in history (it's been both higher and lower than it is now) are somehow wrong?

      • by Ambitwistor (1041236) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @03:09PM (#26313191)

        Or did you perhaps think that the amount of CO2 in the air the last ten thousand years is the "correct" amount, and the CO2 levels at other points in history (it's been both higher and lower than it is now) are somehow wrong?

        Yes, as far as current civilization is concerned, which has adapted itself to a particular climate over the last ten thousand years. We can re-adapt to a new climate, but it's going to be expensive if the change happens within a century or two, and there are very long-term consequences (e.g. sea level rise) that we may or may not prefer to commit future generations to.

        • We can re-adapt to a new climate, but it's going to be expensive if the change happens within a century or two, and there are very long-term consequences (e.g. sea level rise) that we may or may not prefer to commit future generations to.

          But that is assuming that everything stays the same, carbon emissions, the sun, and technology. back in 1809 we didn't have cell phones, computers, the internet, we didn't even have airplanes. In 2209 who knows what the technology level will be, it might be that rising sea levels will be no problem because we can quickly build artificial islands, or perhaps we won't be even living on the earth we might be living on a different planet or in the air. Not to mention that a nuclear winter, changes in the sun,

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ambitwistor (1041236)

      Geoengineering itself is not unproven nor crackpot; there is plenty of evidence that it works as far as cooling the climate. The unproven part is the side effects. And nobody's proposing to "risk the entire biosphere" on an untested idea; obviously, it would have to be tested on more limited scales first. Some geoengineering schemes are hard to dial down, but some of them (like aerosol geoengineering) can be turned off pretty quickly, with no worse consequences than a large volcano (say, Pinatubo scale).

  • So it was a few months before my wedding and I wanted to look good in the pictures (you have them for life, you know). So I vowed to start eating right and going to the gym. But then the gym turned out to be inconvenient and kind of expensive, so instead I decided I'd just wait 'til the last month and go on a crash diet. But unfortunately, the stupid crash diet didn't work out either (I ask you: who can eat cabbage soup for four weeks!?)

    I'm sorry, what was this story about...?

  • by actionbastard (1206160) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @03:12PM (#26313219)
    Plant more trees.
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      I would also like to add, "drive less". We are actually doing a pretty good job as far as planting trees goes. Now if people would just stop driving their cars so much, we'd be much better off.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by memnock (466995)

      which trees? where? how many?

      if you aren't worried about invasive plants, you could let punktree take over south Florida. of course, all the rich (mistyped that as "reich" at 1st... hmmm...) folks in their subdivisions might get annoyed when the Melaleuca [fleppc.org] overtakes the rest of their manicured "natural areas".

      it'd be better if people stopped making so many babies. or stopped making more roads and cutting down more trees to move into natural areas for their fantasy nature cabin [wiley.com].

      sorry, that was pretty snappy

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by apoc.famine (621563)
      Where? And how do you plan on making them grow? There is a lot of open space in Africa, but a large amount of it's not fit for trees.

      And if your solution is to water them, it instantly becomes infeasible. Plus you need to make sure that poor people don't cut them down and burn them, farm the land, or sell the timber.

      Not to mention that trees might not fix the problem [geotimes.org].
  • Seriously. I'm addicted to 7-11 nachos. But I live near the beach and have to keep up my figure.

    Please figure out how to get rid of the fat so I can consume more, and more, AND MORE!!!!

    Financial engineering worked, right?
  • Climate Scientists? (Score:2, Informative)

    by mark_osmd (812581)
    The so-called climate scientists interviewed in the article are mostly oceanographers, engineers, museum directors and authors. It looks like only about half are literally climate scientists/physicists.
  • Yes. (Score:5, Informative)

    by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @04:19PM (#26313755) Journal

    Because we have done such a wonderful job in the past. Things like killing off the wolves in Yellowstone, and changing the hydrology of Florida. Yes, we are so good at "geoengineering" that this could not possibly go wrong.

    *snirk* I crack myself up.

  • by Richard Kirk (535523) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @04:57PM (#26313999)

    It's a bit late to decide not to affect the planet. We already have done so. If we can get everyone to cut their carbon use, and all plant trees, then this is geoengineering. If we decide not to do that, and carry on emitting carbon dioxide and other stuff, then that will be geoengineering too - the bad sort.

    Unfortunately, it is not always easy to distinguish between good and bad proposals. The solutions originally proposed for acid rain back in the 1970's - reducing exhaust gas temperatures and using scrubbers - would have resulted in us consuming more coal for the same energy production, and would probably have made things worse. In fact, the sulphur compounds are probably helping the cloud cover, so we might be in other trouble if we got rid of them too quickly. Making methanol biofuel from waste sugar cane seemed good back in the 1970's too.

    Well, anyone can make mistakes. The scary thing about geoengineering is that we only get one stab at it. We can't even do a proper experiment with a control. Any changes we make will be hard to measure because there are natural random events, such as sunspots, weather patterns, volcanoes, and so forth. So we want a proposal that should be effective, have some measureable effect before going global-scale, and should be capable of being turned of smartly if we find it is not working.

    Top of the proposals in may view, are the ships that spray seawater into the air. This could create cloud cover and rain, and absorb heat at sea level, and re-emit it at the top of the atmosphere where it may radiate into space. If it is not doing the right thing, then we can turn off the sprays, and everything is back where we started.

    Number two would be adding iron salts to the sea. Iron is scarce in seawater, and the lack of iron throttles algae growth. A small amount of iron will produce a lot of algae, fixing carbon, and providing food for other sea creatures. This is all measurable. If we find we are doing the wrong thing, then we can't get the iron back out of the sea again, so we have to start small scale and work upwards.

    Most of the other solutions in the article are a bit scary for me. There are many other smaller-scale proposals not mentioned that will not provide a global solution by themselves, but should give a cost effective contribution. Examples are capping old coal mines to store methane emissions, or generating fuels from bacteria to fix carbon. For completeness' sake, I add the virtuous proposal of getting people to use less energy, but that isn't happening nearly fast enough.

    Yes, geoengineering is a bit scary. But, right now, it is a lot less scary than the geoengeneering we are doing right now by carrying on as we have always done.

  • "scientists" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Baldrson (78598) * on Saturday January 03, 2009 @06:07PM (#26314509) Homepage Journal
    From TFA:

    Fertilising the sea with iron filings This idea arises from the fact that the limiting factor in the multiplication of phytoplankton â" tiny marine plants â" is the lack of iron salts in the sea. When scientists add iron to "dead" areas of the sea, the result is a phytoplankton bloom which absorbs CO2. The hope is that carbon taken up by the microscopic plants will sink to deep layers of the ocean, and be taken out of circulation. Experiments support the idea, but blooms may be eaten by animals so carbon returns to the atmosphere as CO2.

    Iron fertilization is such an obviously good thing to test out it never ceases to amaze me how much traction stupid arguments against gradually expanded iron fertilization experiments get.

    On the one hand you have folks who object to such expanded experiments by saying "We don't know what global iron fertilization will do to the environment!" Well, I know this will come as a shock to some of these so-called "scientists" but that's precisely why you run EXPERIMENTS.

    On the other hand, you have folks who are "worried" that some of the carbon might end up creating a food chain out in the middle of huge ocean desert areas because.... well... who needs all those fish? And, by the way, what are we going to do about all the natural fisheries that are being depleted by overfishing?

  • Snake Oil (Score:4, Informative)

    by thethibs (882667) on Saturday January 03, 2009 @09:16PM (#26315791) Homepage

    Most of these people are not "climate scientists". Many are activists and science bureaucrats who haven't done any real science in decades. The best that can be said of them is that they are well-connected mathematicians, engineers and scientists with an opinion on Geoengineering. One of them is a lawyer.

    For the rest, David Archer, Steven Sherwood, Frank Schwing and Andrew Gettleman are not too keen on the idea. Kevin Trenberth and LuAnne Thompson are dead-set against it.

    Steven Ghan stands pretty much alone as a practicing geophysicist and climatologist in favour of geoengineering (as long as it is constrained to CO2 reduction).

    Finally, it's notable that only half, 22 out of 44, of the respondents come out in favor of the idea.

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