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Posted Sat Feb 26 2011: from Scientific American:
Can Geoengineering Save the World from Global Warming?
As efforts to combat climate change falter despite ever-rising concentrations of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, some scientists and other experts have begun to consider the possibility of using so-called geoengineering to fix the problem. Such "deliberate, large-scale manipulation of the planetary environment" as the Royal Society of London puts it, is fraught with peril, of course. For example, one of the first scientists to predict global warming as a result of increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere--Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius--thought this might be a good way to ameliorate the winters of his native land and increase its growing season. Whereas that may come true for the human inhabitants of Scandinavia, polar plants and animals are suffering as sea ice dwindles and temperatures warm even faster than climatologists predicted. Scientific American corresponded with science historian James Fleming of Colby College in Maine, author of Fixing the Sky: The Checkered History of Weather and Climate Control, about the history of geoengineering--ranging from filling the air with the artificial aftermath of a volcanic eruption to seeding the oceans with iron in order to promote plankton growth--and whether it might save humanity from the ill effects of climate change.... This idea of detonating bombs in near-space was proposed in 1957 by Nicholas Christofilos, a physicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.... In short, I think it may be infinitely more dangerous than climate change, largely due to the suspicion and social disruption it would trigger by changing humanity's relationship to nature.
[Read more stories about: geoengineering, technical cleverness, unintended consequences]

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'Doc Jim says:
Anything that makes climate change seem tame is a bit of all right with me, even if it's "infinitely more dangerous than climate change"!

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