Friday, July 28, 2006

 

Two Random Dispatches About Global Warming

Do you want to hear the good news or the bad news first?

The bad news? Ever hear of the Intermountain Rural Electric Association? I hadn't either until reading this ABC report on how they contributed $100,000 to Patrick Michaels to fund his continued skepticism of global warming. A commenter recently suggested that the scientific consensus on global warming was "manufactured by ignoring those who disagree," adding that, "it is also hard for those who disagree to get funding." When a small rural collective is ponying up 100 grand, it appears that the money flow is actually rather unrestricted. It is bought and paid for hacks like Patrick Michaels that allow the non-scientific skeptics a fig leaf of cover when they claim that the science is inconclusive. In the article, Ross Gelbspan sums up the consensus on global warming as "the conclusion of more than 2,000 scientists from 100 countries in what is the largest and most rigorously peer-reviewed scientific collaboration in history." I couldn't have said it better myself.

Enough of that; onto the good news. There may be real progress in scientific research to mitigate the effects of the added CO2 in the atmosphere. Paul Crutzen of the Max Planck Institute has written that adding sufficient sulfur to the proper level of the atmosphere could reflect more sunlight and thus counteract the greenhouse effect. I think that this type of solution is the only viable one for global warming. While we may be able to slow the growth of the rate at which we're expelling CO2 into the atmosphere, it is completely unrealistic to think that the volume will be reduced any time in the near future. Thus scientific breakthroughs to restore the balance are our best bet to head off global climate changes. The best part is that his suggestion involves using artillery to shoot the sulfur into the needed position, so all those who don't like to spend money unless things are being blown up should be very happy with this plan.

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