Posted by: Mark Nielsen | June 17, 2009

Earth’s Umbrella of Death: Why It’s a Bad Idea

Scientists in the emerging field of geo-engineering are now seriously considering the upside and potential problems with putting a worldwide layer of particles in the atmosphere, particles that would reflect some of the sun’s rays away from Earth, thus solving (?!?) the global warming crisis.

Okay, so where do I sign up for the shuttle to Mars?

The full story can be read here.

Once again, big props to public radio and All Things Considered  for informing us in ways that tv news and most other mainstream sources refuse to serve us with useful information.

I don’t have all the science down pat, but the basic foolishness of taking such an extreme and permanent action seems obvious, doesn’t it? Yet panic makes humans do strange things. Methinks I should be scared.

It reads like the backstory for a Philip K. Dick/Schwarzenegger movie’s near-future hellscape. (“We tried this, and then that happened, and then there was that unexpected cataclysmic event, and oh well, pass the roasted cockroaches, please.”)

For the record, I don’t put alot of stock in all the hubbub about 2012 being the end of the world, just because some Mayan calendar-makers centuries ago got tired of writing or doing the math. Nevertheless a cockamamie idea like coating the atmosphere with a layer of sulfur is probably a good way to start us down that road to our own destruction. It will likely effect the ozone layer, which will increase the amount of UV’s that reach us, and probably cause droughts, famines and other global or regional reactions. Plus, I don’t trust the people with the money to make this happen to act ethically, or to have the best interests of the Two Thirds World in mind if they decide to proceed. Somebody’s going to want to profit from it, and that will be the downfall of the whole shebang.

Thanks go out to my engineer friend Marylee for linking to the above story on facebook. Now if we can only figure out what to do INSTEAD of putting up this Death Parasol…

Clock’s ticking.


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