Cheat-Seeking Missles

Friday, December 22, 2006

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Global Warming Solutions!

Here's an interesting approach to solving global warming (assuming it will be long enough and bad enough to amount to a threat) without trashing the global economy:
For those hot days at the ocean, a beach umbrella can help block the sun's heat and ultraviolet radiation. Now an orbiting sunshade could do the same for the planet, in the event of a global warming emergency.

The sunshade, proposed by Roger Angel of the University of Arizona in a recent issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, would be made of trillions of transparent, platter-sized spacecraft flying together in an elliptical formation.

Like a light-blocking cirrus cloud, the flock of spacecraft would diffuse about two percent of the sun's energy away from the Earth.

"You wouldn't notice anything at all. Aesthetically it's not too bad," said Angel, who is director of the university's Steward Observatory Mirror Laboratory and its Center for Astronomical Adaptive Optics. ...

Angel preferred the shade solution because it changes the Earth's atmospheric chemistry, but he knew that deploying a large structure would be a challenge.

So instead of one shade, he devised a plan to launch trillions of disc-like craft, each 2 feet in diameter. Made from a lightweight film, each vehicle would weigh as little as a butterfly.

Don't you just love the elegance of trillions of reflective butterflies flitting high above us in a protective cloud?

The fix, Angel figures, would cost about $5 trillion for a 50-year fix -- a lot, but a drop in the bucket when compared to the $400 billion a year suggested in the recent laughable Stern Report on the costs of "fixing" global warming. Plus Angel's fix could be stopped at any point in the 20 years it would take to install, should it be determined that the Warmie Models were way off and we've really got an ice age to fear.

Well, don't get excited or anything. There absolutely, positively can be no good news on global warming. That's Warmie Rule #1. Get use to it. Deal with it. Here's the Warmie response to Angel's plan:

Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., sees even bigger problems.

Although the sunshade could potentially cool global temperatures, it could also change the water cycle and create widespread droughts, said Trenberth.

"It would radically change the weather systems in ways hard to predict," he said.

The solution, said Trenberth, can't come from geoenginnering.

"The only one that makes sense to me is to reduce our emissions, cut our energy use, become more efficient, reduce waste of energy, and develop much more renewable energy. This is doable but requires political will and international approaches," said Trenberth.

Yup. Forget innovative solutions. Only draconian global suppression of the free market economy will save us from becoming, in the immortal words of Bill Murray, toast.

hat-tip: Aren. Source: Discovery.Com
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