I just finished watching a television program, where the core focus was this group of intellectuals, engineers, lawyers and environmentalists coming together in California, to discuss how the planet (read: us humans) can combat global warming.
Hold on for a second, did someone forget to invite the economists? We’ll ignore this for a moment.
In a nutshell, I really hope the media was incredibly biased towards the absolutely crazy and insane solutions these apparent experts boiled up together.
Let’s iterate over a few potential solutions identified in the program:
- Massive Plankton Farms – Sprinkling iron particles on the ocean, creating massive farms of plankton to consume carbon dioxide – great idea. You know what else was a great idea? The English bringing Rabbits to Australia, which had no natural predators. Brilliant idea if you want an uncontrollable species triggering a catastrophic series of events
- Giant ‘hoover’ machines to suck carbon dioxide from the air, disposing of excess C02 underground, potentially pumping the C02 in pipes, hundreds of miles. How do we power these wonderful marvels of engineering? How do we produce these mega projects? Where is the holistic analysis here?
- Giant geo-engineered forests, to consume high amounts of C02. Since when was it considered a success for us to manage mega crops of single species? When has this been sustainable in the past? Imagine what kind of pests would thrive in such a mega crop. How would we manage such pests?
- High-reflectivity clouds – Hundreds or thousands of boats (or jet airplanes) spreading increased reflectivity clouds to reflect more sunlight – effectively altering the amount of sunlight or heat entering the atmosphere. Since when was global warming just about temperature? What about the pollutants in the atmosphere, how are we dealing with these? What is the effect of constantly powering (by petroleum I suspect) these aircraft or watercraft around our atmosphere 24×7. Am I wrong in recognizing these fuel-burning machines are just producing ever more pollutants and C02?
Now, am I the only one calling nonsense on these so-called experts? I really hope this is just the media deciding to edit out the truly good and realistic ideas. It would make for much better TV if we decided we could convince the publice of our amazing inventions, and ingenuety to solve more problems with incredible technology advancements. Because, well, since when did technology fail to solve our problems, right?
I mean, here are some other great innovations we’ve managed to introduce over the years:
- Gunpowder – great for solving world problems isn’t it? Actually, it’s best use might just be for fireworks. Unfortunately, many millions of people have died at the hands of gunpowder
- Automobiles – nobody likes to have to walk anywhere now do they? Taking a train is sometimes downright inconvenient, or not an option. Wait a second, isn’t it automobiles that are part of our global warming problem? We’ll ignore this for the moment
- Pesticides – we can’t have our one-dimensional super-crops become vulnerable can we, so we spray them with wonderful chemicals. Nevermind the cause and effect on soil erosion and pests that become resilient. Ever thought about a balanced crop of insects, plants, flowers and other organisms to keep pests controlled? Ever planted a marigold next to your zucchini plant? It works wonderfully well to prevent aphids.
- …the list goes on
I agree, gunpowder, automobiles and pesticides are great innovations. However, they are also contributing factors to global warming and climate problems.
Once again, what about the economists? What ever happened to the thought of prevention, rather than reaction? What ever happened to the thought that we could use less of a few things in our daily lives.
What if everyone in the planet decided to use one less of something, for instance… take one day a month to not drive your car to work. Imagine if you took all the working people in North America, and asked them to abandon their automobile for one day a month. Do you have any idea how much fuel is burned in one day, in north american automobiles? That is a staggering number, but it’s not nearly as exciting or glamourous as designing a mega-hoover or producing a network of super boats and aircraft to produce man-made reflective clouds.
Wait a minute…
What if we were to just tax gasoline (did I just suggest another tax?) even more? What if that tax pushed the general public to use their vehicle one day less per month. What an amazing thought, isn’t it?
Outrage! Don’t even think about asking the typical American or Canadian to change their lifestyle of consumption, this is ridiculous! Instead, let’s build giant hoover vacuum machines and the massive nuclear, coal and oil burning power plants to power these marvels of engineering.
I hope we’re not all this crazy, because if we are, I will have lost hope.