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    Could Crazy Technology Save the Planet?
    Posted on Saturday, March 17, 2007 @ 18:32:40 MST by vlad

    General By SETH BORENSTEIN, AP Science Writer/

    (AP) -- Crazy-sounding ideas for saving the planet are getting a serious look from top scientists, a sign of their fears about global warming and the desire for an insurance policy in case things get worse. How crazy?



    There's the man-made "volcano" that shoots gigatons of sulfur high into the air. The space "sun shade" made of trillions of little reflectors between Earth and sun, slightly lowering the planet's temperature. The forest of ugly artificial "trees" that suck carbon dioxide out of the air. And the "Geritol solution" in which iron dust is dumped into the ocean.

    "Of course it's desperation," said Stanford University professor Stephen Schneider. "It's planetary methadone for our planetary heroin addiction. It does come out of the pessimism of any realist that says this planet can't be trusted to do the right thing."

    NASA is putting the finishing touches on a report summing up some of these ideas and has spent $75,000 to map out rough details of the sun shade concept. One of the premier climate modeling centers in the United States, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, has spent the last six weeks running computer simulations of the man-made volcano scenario and will soon turn its attention to the space umbrella idea.

    And last month, billionaire Richard Branson offered a $25 million prize to the first feasible technology to reduce carbon dioxide levels in the air.

    Simon "Pete" Worden, who heads NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., says some of these proposals, which represent a field called geoengineering, have been characterized as anywhere from "great" to "idiotic." As if to distance NASA from the issue a bit, Worden said the agency's report won't do much more than explain the range of possibilities.

    Scientists in the recent past have been reluctant to consider such concepts. Many fear there will be unintended side effects; others worry such schemes might prevent the type of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that scientists say are the only real way to fight global warming. These approaches are not an alternative to cutting pollution, said University of Calgary professor David Keith, a top geoengineering researcher.

    Last month, Ralph Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences, told the nation's largest science conference that more research must be done in this field, but no action should be taken yet.

    Here is a look at some of the ideas:

    Full article: http://www.physorg.com/news93185141.html

    --------------- In other related news:

    DANISH SCIENTIST: GLOBAL WARMING IS A MYTH, March 15
    A Danish scientist said the idea of a "global temperature" and global warming is more political than scientific.
    Full story at http://www.physorg.com/news93193025.html

    WINTER WARMEST ON RECORD WORLDWIDE, March 15
    (AP) -- This winter was the warmest on record worldwide, the government said Thursday in the latest worrisome report focusing on changing climate. The report comes just over a month after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said global warming is very likely caused by human actions and is so severe it will continue for centuries.
    Full story at http://www.physorg.com/news93199867.html

    GLOBAL 'SUNSCREEN' HAS LIKELY THINNED, REPORT NASA SCIENTISTS, March 15
    A new NASA study has found that an important counter-balance to the warming of our planet by greenhouse gases - sunlight blocked by dust, pollution and other aerosol particles - appears to have lost ground.
    Full story at http://www.physorg.com/news93190359.html

    WARMING OCEANS THREATEN ANTARCTIC GLACIERS, March 15
    Scientists have identified four Antarctic glaciers that pose a threat to future sea levels using satellite observations, according to a study published in the journal Science.
    Full story at http://www.physorg.com/news93191513.html

    ARCTIC SEA ICE DECLINE MAY TRIGGER CLIMATE CHANGE CASCADE, March 15
    Arctic sea ice that has been dwindling for several decades may have reached a tipping point that could trigger a cascade of climate change reaching into Earth's temperate regions, says a new University of Colorado at Boulder study.
    Full story at http://www.physorg.com/news93198898.html







    Note: I wonder why the top scientists are not seriously looking at other "crazy-sounding ideas for saving the planet" that we, in the new-energy community, are begging them to look at, for years ??? (The resistance to a new idea increases as the square of its importance." - Bertrand Russell)

     
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    "Could Crazy Technology Save the Planet?" | Login/Create an Account | 2 comments | Search Discussion
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    Re: Could Crazy Technology Save the Planet? (Score: 1)
    by seanu on Saturday, March 24, 2007 @ 15:53:11 MST
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    stuff the laws of thermodynamics. they are blind. there's a large ball of plasma up in the sky spewing out hugh amounts of heat. our planet is responding to it as we arrogantly believe we are causing that perceived response. i guess humanity is still a very young intelligent species, and just like kids we believe we are the centre of the universe. its quite sweet in a way, I'm sure Gaia is loving us, watching us believe we can control the atmosphere. its just a shame individually we don't live long enough to see that everything changes over time, nothing is constant, "ice caps" melt and refreeze, temperatures go up and down. if we did we'd just get on with life, living. perhaps we'd just stop worrying about environmental changes and try colonising other planets as we should (I guess).



    Re: Could Crazy Technology Save the Planet? (Score: 1)
    by modernsteam on Tuesday, March 20, 2007 @ 16:50:26 MST
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    Re:" Note: I wonder why the top scientists are not seriously looking at other "crazy-sounding ideas for saving the planet" that we, in the new-energy community, are begging them to look at, for years ???"

    The scientists who have the power to do something about it are wearing blinders! They cannot conceive of any phenomena breaking the Laws of Thermodynamics.
    They say that said Laws have never been challenged (WRONG!!), and that therefore, they could not ever be challenged (also WRONG!!). Those still gainfully employed who wish to question that paradigm would likely find themselves ungainfully unemployed if they did so.

    Hal. Ade




     

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