View Poll Results: What do you think of these proposals to cool the earth?

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  • I like them. This would save the taxpayers a huge amount of money and also save the earth.

    13 38.24%
  • I don't think these proposals are technologically feasible.

    10 29.41%
  • We shouldn't be messing around with the climate; who knows what might happen?

    12 35.29%
  • We should pass legislation to cap and/or tax carbon dioxide emissions.

    6 17.65%
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Thread: Cheap ways to cool the earth

  1. #11
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    Re: Cheap ways to cool the earth

    Quote Originally Posted by bowerbird View Post
    That would work just as well as the first two crackpot ideas
    The cost would be higher, but the increased capability in space would mean we could dump nuclear waste on the moon.

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    Re: Cheap ways to cool the earth

    What if we cool the Earth too much and we experience global crop failures? Seems like we're messing around with Pandora's box, to me.
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    Re: Cheap ways to cool the earth

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I just finished reading Superfreakonomics, the sequel to Freakonomics, and the authors have some very interesting ideas for how to reverse global warming WITHOUT spending a fortune to do so.

    - Spray sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere through a super-tall smokestack. It would essentially be a hose that was miles long, held together with balloons. It could be attached to a factory's normal smokestacks, which would ejects its sulfur dioxide waste into the stratosphere (several miles up) instead of the troposphere (the near-surface air). A single hose on each of a mere two factories - one in the Northern Hemisphere and one in the Southern Hemisphere - would be sufficient. This would mirror the effect of a relatively large volcanic eruption like Mount Pinatubo, and would cool the earth by a couple degrees. TOTAL COST: $20 million in startup, $10 million per year.

    - A fleet of wind-powered boats which sit in the ocean, and have underwater turbines to fling sea water into the atmosphere and create clouds. The white clouds, unlike the black ocean, would reflect sunlight and cool the earth by a couple degrees. TOTAL COST: A few billion dollars total.

    What do you guys think? The technology for these already exists, and it would be much cheaper than the hundreds of billions we'd need to spend EVERY YEAR on climate change legislation. The scientists seem to think that these proposals are perfectly safe and feasible, but if they produced any unintended environmental consequences, the machines could easily be shut off and any damages would be reversed within a couple years.
    Where is the "other" option in the poll? How about we just clean up our ****ty act and our stinky cities.. The fight to save our planet is not just about global warming and those things, it is also about urban pollution, noise, garbage treatment and such things. Our planet is a dirty mess.
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    Re: Cheap ways to cool the earth

    Quote Originally Posted by bowerbird View Post
    That would work just as well as the first two crackpot ideas
    Why don't you think they would work?
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    Re: Cheap ways to cool the earth

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    What if we cool the Earth too much and we experience global crop failures? Seems like we're messing around with Pandora's box, to me.
    We could start slow, and shut off the machines altogether if it was cooling the earth more than anticipated (or if there were any other side effects we didn't anticipate).

    For example, the sulfur dioxide smokestack solution should be very easy to measure, because we know how much volcanic eruptions cool the earth. Sulfur dioxide also has a very short half-life in the stratosphere (about a year), so there wouldn't be any long-term damages. If we decided we wanted to cool the earth by 0.5 degrees, we could put enough sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere to cool it by 0.05 degrees and gradually ramp it up over ten years, so that we could very slowly and cautiously observe the changes.
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    Re: Cheap ways to cool the earth

    Quote Originally Posted by Maximus Zeebra View Post
    Where is the "other" option in the poll? How about we just clean up our ****ty act and our stinky cities.. The fight to save our planet is not just about global warming and those things, it is also about urban pollution, noise, garbage treatment and such things. Our planet is a dirty mess.
    Urban pollution, noise, and garbage treatment have nothing to do with how to fight global warming, which is the topic of this thread.
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    Re: Cheap ways to cool the earth

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I just finished reading Superfreakonomics, the sequel to Freakonomics, and the authors have some very interesting ideas for how to reverse global warming WITHOUT spending a fortune to do so. - Spray sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere through a super-tall smokestack. It would essentially be a hose that was miles long, held together with balloons. It could be attached to a factory's normal smokestacks, which would ejects its sulfur dioxide waste into the stratosphere (several miles up) instead of the troposphere (the near-surface air). A single hose on each of a mere two factories - one in the Northern Hemisphere and one in the Southern Hemisphere - would be sufficient. This would mirror the effect of a relatively large volcanic eruption like Mount Pinatubo, and would cool the earth by a couple degrees. TOTAL COST: $20 million in startup, $10 million per year. - A fleet of wind-powered boats which sit in the ocean, and have underwater turbines to fling sea water into the atmosphere and create clouds. The white clouds, unlike the black ocean, would reflect sunlight and cool the earth by a couple degrees. TOTAL COST: A few billion dollars total. What do you guys think? The technology for these already exists, and it would be much cheaper than the hundreds of billions we'd need to spend EVERY YEAR on climate change legislation. The scientists seem to think that these proposals are perfectly safe and feasible, but if they produced any unintended environmental consequences, the machines could easily be shut off and any damages would be reversed within a couple years.
    I don't think radically altering the entire biosphere is a very prudent idea. In fact, I think these are horrible ideas for the simple fact that there’s no telling what the unintended side-effects could be. Why don’t we actually prove AGW theory before we try to "solve" global warming.
    Last edited by Ethereal; 11-01-09 at 04:20 PM.

  8. #18
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    Re: Cheap ways to cool the earth

    Quote Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post
    I don't think radically altering the entire ecosphere is a very prudent idea. In fact, I think these are horrible ideas for the simple fact that thereís no telling what the unintended side-effects could be. Why donít we actually prove AGW theory before we try to "solve" global warming".
    They're not talking about doing it now, they're talking about taking tiny incremental steps to do this if we absolutely need to at some point in the future.
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    Re: Cheap ways to cool the earth

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    They're not talking about doing it now, they're talking about taking tiny incremental steps to do this if we absolutely need to at some point in the future.
    Under what circumstances would we absolutely need to use these methods?

    The biosphere is a subtly intertwined and infinitely complex system, so unless you're willing to risk the entire Earth's biological integrity I don't think either one of these ideas could be seriously entertained.

  10. #20
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    Re: Cheap ways to cool the earth

    This is just a contingency plan.. a big what if??

    Unfortunately though if things do heat up significantly and get to the point of causing problems, we will not notice or accept it until things start getting drastic. The old frog in a frying pan syndrome.

    Under what circumstance? Maybe the Maldives going under water might be a good signal to start entertaining the idea. Perhaps when low lying port cities start to go under, and we start seeing global crop failure happen we might decide to really give it serious consideration.

    I don't foresee this actually getting implemented unless things were seriously FUBAR and even then it would probably take another 20 years for us to accept the reality of how FUBAR it is.

    I don;t think there is much to worry about here, and I see no harm in contingency plans, especially ones such as the ones proposed here that can be shut off and reversed really if it really ****s things up.

    Tampering with nature on this level is not something to do without serious consideration. But if the **** were to hit the fan, I see nothing wrong with having a couple of contingency plans on hand as is being suggested here.



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    Last edited by marduc; 11-01-09 at 04:53 PM.
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