Thursday, 27 August 2009

Playing with fire

This is scary.

Usually my disagreements with the climate warriors are to do with the fact that:
  1. It is still not at all obvious that climate chaange is man-caused, or carbon-caused.
  2. The tyrannical attempts of the climate warriors to silence their opponents (like having them expelled from the Royal Academy)
  3. The call to give overbearing powers to governments and the UN to enforce this hypothesis.

However, the idea of "geo-engineering" artificial trees and reflecting sunlight back into space with mirrored roofing rings alarm bells.

I am not a scientist, at all. But I do recall lots of situations where previous generations of scientists have 'solved' one problem by creating a new one. In 1935, 102 cane toads were released into Queensland to control beetles who were destroying the sugar cane crop. It failed, and the beetles are still wrecking crops. However, the cane toad succeeded in becoming massively widespread, but it is so poisonous it kills both its prey and its predators, even crocodiles, and has almost wiped out many of Australia's endangered species.

Of course, each generation of scientists thinks they're so much better informed now that they wouldn't have made the same mistake. But if we really could reflect a significant quantity of sunlight back into space, who's to say we won't overdo it. We're always being warned that doing the wrong thing vis-a-vis our climate could have apocalyptic consequences. I hope the climate warriors listen to their own warnings.

Sometimes the cure is worse than the problem.

Perhaps my scientific readers may care to comment (not you Marc!)?

4 comments:

Samuel Bostock said...

Hi Neil,

I'm not expert either but the evidence for climate change occurring is strong, and there is good evidence to link it to human causes.

Either way, it would seem to be responsible stewardship to prevent the world from getting flooded??

Any intervention involves risk obviously, especially with such a complicated system as the world's carbon cycle. But it seems like a fair application of subduing the earth.

Neil Jeffers said...

Sam,

Thanks for that. Certainly it seems everyone is agreed that climate change is happening. You may have spotted a couple of posts ago, my link to the Manhattan Declaration. There we have 800 distinguished climatologists and related scientists (many of whom have actually served on the IPCC) saying it's not human or carbon-caused, and that all the low-carbon efforts are a waste of time and money.

I just fear we have a perfect storm of politicians seeing an excuse for increased taxes and legislation, supra-national institutions like the EU and UN seeing an excuse to increase their own powers, a huge scientific industry seeing an excuse for ever-increasing government subsidy, when it could all be a load of baloney.

Marc Lloyd said...

Huh! I won't comment then!

laurie said...

I saw an interview with Lord Monkton the other day--apparently, a 20-year study at MIT has established that "global warming" does not work the way the scientists have always said it did. So whatever we do, carbon-wise, will have absolutely no effect on climate change.

I might take it all a bit more seriously if I didn't know that many of the people who are shouting about a warming earth are the very same people who, 30 years ago, were shouting that we were heading for another ice age.