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The need to promote geo-engineering to stop AGW
#1
Friends:

I am posting this here but I am not sure if it should be here or in the political section.  If I have made the wrong decision about this then I hope the Moderators will correct for my error.

I write to seek comments on a suggestion I have made in several places over recent years.

AGW-“deniers” have repeatedly ridiculed suggestions for geo-engineering to stop and/or reduce anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) global warming (AGW).

I am firmly convinced that dangerous AGW is not a problem and cannot become one.  However, I do think the possibility of the geo-engineering should be supported.  My reason for this is a political ploy and I explain it as follows.

At present there is no empirical evidence of any kind that the AGW hypothesis is correct.  But supporters of the AGW-scare assert that action must be taken now to avoid the possibility of dangerous AGW in the future.

Politicians are responding to the AGW-scare by trying to constrain anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), notably carbon dioxide (CO2).  Such constraints would do much harm and, therefore, I think they should not be accepted.  But politicians of several countries are committed to their having accepted the AGW-scare as being a potential threat which warrants the constraints. 

The politicians need a viable reason if they are to back-off from this commitment to the constraints without losing face.

The geo-engineering option provides the needed viable reason to do nothing about AGW now.

The AGW-scare is founded on an unproven assumption that global temperature is determined by net radiative forcing, and increase to GHGs in the air provides additional positive radiative forcing.

Increase to aerosols in the air increases cloud cover to provide additional negative radiative forcing.  So, increasing atmospheric aerosols would drop global temperature.  And this could be done at relatively little cost, for example, by emitting sulphates from commercial aircraft.

Hence, if AGW does prove to be a problem then the geo-engineering is a method to immediately stop its effects when it is detected.  Actions to constrain the GHG emissions could then be implemented. The cost of the geo-engineering would be much less than the costs of the constraints to GHG emissions in the period until effects of AGW are detected.  Indeed, the costs of the geo-engineering would be trivial compared to the costs of 20% reduction to world-wide GHG emissions for a single year.

And if AGW does not prove to be a problem then no constraints to GHG emissions and no geo-engineering would be needed.

In either case, the geo-engineering option is preferable to adopting constraints on GHG emissions in the near future.

This suggested political ploy is not fanciful and it has precedent.  Opponents of the nuclear industry have objected that there is no “safe” method to dispose of nuclear waste.  The nuclear industry has responded by asserting that the waste could be vitrified.  A practical method for the vitrification still remains to be developed, but assertion of the possibility of the vitrification has been sufficient to overcome objections to nuclear power in several countries for nearly 40 years.  (incidentally, I am in favour of nuclear power).

Richard
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#2
I remember the first time I heard you say this Richard. I will admit my immediate reaction was to slap my forehead.
BUT, then I thought it through a little more as I listened. It does make sense. I agree that,
some geo-engineering "solutions" are by far and away the lesser of two evils.

I do have one concern, would raising such a discussion open the door wide open to sequestration.
That could possibly be playing with fire, given the present deeply held, and unreasoned beliefs
widely held (mostly in political and bueaocratic circles) about the CO2 effects and how they (supposedly) happen.
If, for example they start sequestrating now, would "they" claim their actions have worked...
I do realise sequestration is not possible at present, at the levels required, but
I would not bet against "them" being able to produce "measurements" to show their "sequestration" was actually working...)

I wonder if this sensible suggestion you have put forward could be turned or twisted to become
something quite different and possibly have a net harmfull effect.
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed
(and hence clamorous to be led to safety)
by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H. L. Mencken.  

The hobgoblins have to be imaginary so that
"they" can offer their solutions, not THE solutions.
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#3
(As I said on "another board")

Richard -

I understand what you are saying and for the most part think it makes some sense.

However, and unfortunately, I do not see AGW skeptics as a well formed group but rather as a loosely bound group with only one main thread holding us together - the fact that we do not believe anthropogenic CO2 is causing us to approach catastrophic climactic conditions. 

Accepting any supposed solution would imply agreement with the proposed concept, would it not?

Just wondering.
I know you think you understand what you thought I said,
but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant!


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#4
[quote author=JohnWho link=topic=183.msg1172#msg1172 date=1250112034]
(As I said on "another board")

Richard -

I understand what you are saying and for the most part think it makes some sense.

However, and unfortunately, I do not see AGW skeptics as a well formed group but rather as a loosely bound group with only one main thread holding us together - the fact that we do not believe anthropogenic CO2 is causing us to approach catastrophic climactic conditions. 

Accepting any supposed solution would imply agreement with the proposed concept, would it not?

Just wondering.
[/quote]

I agree that skeptics are a loosely bound group,however one particular group seems to prefer hidebound forums and out of the public eye.Oh I understand the need for it,but they are the very people who should also be posting in PUBLIC forums and blogs.

Also I think it is because we are not in it for the money or the power,but to fight for rational discussions and support good scientific research,is why we are not strongly organized.

Hopefully a few will come here and contribute for the purpose of educating the public,an area we are weak in.
It is our attitude toward free thought and free expression that will determine our fate. There must be no limit on the range of temperate discussion, no limits on thought. No subject must be taboo. No censor must preside at our assemblies.

–William O. Douglas, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1952
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#5
Richard writes:

Quote:I am firmly convinced that dangerous AGW is not a problem and cannot become one.  However, I do think the possibility of the geo-engineering should be supported.  My reason for this is a political ploy and I explain it as follows.

At present there is no empirical evidence of any kind that the AGW hypothesis is correct.  But supporters of the AGW-scare assert that action must be taken now to avoid the possibility of dangerous AGW in the future.

Politicians are responding to the AGW-scare by trying to constrain anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), notably carbon dioxide (CO2).  Such constraints would do much harm and, therefore, I think they should not be accepted.  But politicians of several countries are committed to their having accepted the AGW-scare as being a potential threat which warrants the constraints.

We can see that there is no dangerous warming trend from a few additional CO2 molecules being added to the atmosphere.But yet you still want to play along with their game of wanting to be planetary saviors? I do not understand why we should consider giving them a veneer of legitimacy by advocating that we do something about unsupported future climate claims based on unverifiable climate models,all because of some "magic CO2 molecules" have increased in the atmosphere.

I for one still prefer fighting their irrational shell game and support sound science research in the process.Politicians have for too long ignored legitimate science research in favor of environmentalist's drive in their desire to tell us how to live.That is the fault of the politicians who never learned to make a balanced approach in finding the answers.

We are winning the science discussions but still losing the propaganda game,because we have yet to figure out how to counter their barrage of irrational claims in the PUBLIC arena,the media's shoddy one sided coverage.

I see a lot of skeptical scientists huddling in private forums,discussing the science and politics of AGW,while alarmists such as James Hansen,Michael Mann,Gavin Schmidt and others discuss it openly to the public by means of blogs and forums,with environmentalist support.When will more skeptical scientists speak out more openly?

The world hears mostly from the AGW believing scientists,because they are so readily available.That is why they are still winning the propaganda of AGW scaremongering.YOU are the rare skeptical scientist who bother to discuss it openly in forums,and we are richer for it,but we need many more to have the public READ what you guys have to say,rather than let the media filter out the skeptical scientist message.
It is our attitude toward free thought and free expression that will determine our fate. There must be no limit on the range of temperate discussion, no limits on thought. No subject must be taboo. No censor must preside at our assemblies.

–William O. Douglas, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1952
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#6
[quote author=sunsettommy link=topic=183.msg1177#msg1177 date=1250115031]

We are winning the science discussions but still losing the propaganda game,because
we have yet to figure out how to counter their barrage of irrational claims
in the PUBLIC arena, the media's shoddy one sided coverage.
[/quote]

"We" need a well written, illustrated, and presented by a charismatic "larger than life" personna,
opposite to AIT.

(Two very strong candidates from the UK spring to mind, and
several other equally strong candidates from Australia, New Zealand, and the USA as well come to think of it.)

"We" need the money to buy some of the media's air time.
Or more preferably a national "free to air" skeptics tv channel, in as many countries as possible.

(There would be no problems filling the air time for years to come.
Presentations / speeches / interviews / discussions / latest papers / latest research, etc, etc.)

The public is skeptical, but never hears about the sense in climate science.
Climate "consensus science" and "Green" need to be separated in peoples understanding.
Niether are what they are percived to be by the consensus "recieved wisdom" at present anyway.
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed
(and hence clamorous to be led to safety)
by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H. L. Mencken.  

The hobgoblins have to be imaginary so that
"they" can offer their solutions, not THE solutions.
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#7
The Viscount Monckton appeared to be that person,but the media and the alarmists have learned how to minimize him.Recall how they shut him out of an appearance in congressional hearings,after he landed at the airport.

Maybe if enough people can make a contribution,to pull out an ad in USA Today newspaper....... ?

In any case the forces of applied censorship is strong,and they do that because they have a political objective to fulfill.Thus all we have is the internet to work with,which is why I wish some more scientists would help out in good skeptical forums.
It is our attitude toward free thought and free expression that will determine our fate. There must be no limit on the range of temperate discussion, no limits on thought. No subject must be taboo. No censor must preside at our assemblies.

–William O. Douglas, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1952
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#8
Derek, Sunsettommy and JohnWho:

Thankyou for your comments.

JohnWho, you put the same question to me that you put on anther board, and I give the same answer as I gave there:  i.e.



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#9
Aaargh! I pressed the wrong button and it posted.  Sorry.  This is a continuation.

JohnWho, you ask me,
“Accepting any supposed solution would imply agreement with the proposed concept, would it not?”

I answer that I do not think so in this case.  It is not necessary to agree anything other than that development of the geo-engineering is a complete answer to those who advocate the Precautionary Principle as a reason to act to prevent postulated AGW.

My proposal is an attempt at a compromise that would give politicians an “out”. 
1.
The politicians can say to AGW-alarmists that they have given themselves time to decide what to do when necessary, and if complete ‘damage limitation’ were needed as a result of their doing nothing at present then the geo-engineering would do that.
2.
The politicians can say to AGW-sceptics (such as myself) that they are doing nothing harmful (such as ‘Cap & Trade’) but they are prepared to do what is needed if that becomes necessary.

Sunsettommy and Derek, my above answer to JohnWho seems apposite to your comments.  I add the following responses to your points.

Derek, there would be no need for any action that has costs (e.g. sequestration) if my proposal were adopted.

Sunsettommy, I am not suggesting any "legitimacy" to AGW-proponents (see my answer to JohnWho).  I am suggesting a political ploy that would enable politicians to do nothing in response to the AGW scare, but would permit them to pretend to be doing something.  The scare could then fade away as its predecessors have (e.g.  few people remember 'acid rain' if not reminded of it).

The ploy also offers a solution to the lack of coherence among climate sceptics in that it promotes advocating a policy that they could all support.  After all, if they are right then the geo-egineering would never be needed.

The truth of AGW will be revealed with efluxion of time.  In the meantime, I want to avoid the AGW-scare causing real harm, and my suggestion is an attempt at that.

Richard
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#10
Quote:Sunsettommy, I am not suggesting any "legitimacy" to AGW-proponents (see my answer to JohnWho).  I am suggesting a political ploy that would enable politicians to do nothing in response to the AGW scare, but would permit them to pretend to be doing something.  The scare could then fade away as its predecessors have (e.g.  few people remember 'acid rain' if not reminded of it).

I get it now,you hope they will talk a lot but do nothing.

They are good at that!

:Smile
It is our attitude toward free thought and free expression that will determine our fate. There must be no limit on the range of temperate discussion, no limits on thought. No subject must be taboo. No censor must preside at our assemblies.

–William O. Douglas, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1952
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#11
[quote author=Richard S Courtney link=topic=183.msg1181#msg1181 date=1250118239]
JohnWho, you put the same question to me that you put on anther board, and I give the same answer as I gave there:  i.e.
[/quote]

Yes, I did. 

The two boards look so similar I thought I was on this board.

Then, when I did come to this board, lo and behold, you had posted here, also.

Ergo, I posted here as well.

*note to self - know which board on which you are posting when*


I know you think you understand what you thought I said,
but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant!


Reply
#12
I think the ships that throw a cloud of sea water into the atmosphere would be the solution. There would be a big bang for the bucks with the right amount of publicity and delays that we are known for that could be streached out for a lomg time if it was included in a ban on wind turbans because science has realized that wind causes more enviormental harm than good. Or something like that.
I recall in the 60s we experimented with cloud seeding and I believe it is still going on to a lesser extent. There were some little published negative results when the seeding attempts worked as they created more rain than expected but more often than not they failed to accomplish anything. I think I recently saw an article regarding cloud seeding for profit.
Johnwho:
I would lose the note! Big Grin
I did find this from DRI (Desert Research Institute):
http://cloudseeding.dri.edu/
However as a past resident of the southern Nevada desert I recall some interesting results of those experiments as in to much rain falling where it was not wanted.
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#13
[quote author=Richard S Courtney link=topic=183.msg1182#msg1182 date=1250119033]
Derek, there would be no need for any action that has costs (e.g. sequestration) if my proposal were adopted.
Richard
[/quote]

I do understand your ploy better now, thank you Richard.
My reservation still remains to some degree, can or would it be deliberately "twisted".
That said, your ploy as explained here is definately the best of the choices / suggestions that face us,
and it certainly offers politicians a perfectly reasonable "way out" whilst still being seen to be doing "something".
So, I sincerely hope it gains momentum.
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed
(and hence clamorous to be led to safety)
by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H. L. Mencken.  

The hobgoblins have to be imaginary so that
"they" can offer their solutions, not THE solutions.
Reply
#14
I have posted before on a different forum regarding a concern with RSC idea of geo-engineering as a 'get-out' for politicians.  My basics points are that there are potential risks associated with such schemes. 

Firstly, there is a risk of unforeseen consequences although I believe that it would be virtually impossible to upset the earth system significantly for extended periods.  For example, the recent unexpected results of adding iron to the oceans.

Secondly, certain geo-engineering projects could be construed by some states as weapons.  This could be a problem.  This concern is probably unjustified, as RSC suggested, because it would take international co-operation to deploy.

My immediate reaction was negative, but further thought changed my opinion and as such I feel I can support RSC's suggestion.  That said, I have a feeling that the idea may become distorted in some way. I don't know how, yet.

In some ways, it could be portrayed, by those wanting to make capital from it, as a step backwards by skeptics and as such might reinforce AGW support, although ultimately, assuming it was carried through, could effectively lead to the 'best' result.  It will be a gamble, but hopefully with favourable odds.

Whether it can ever get the necessary support is another matter.
"Correlation is NOT Causation"
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#15
I think his main goal is to have the empty suits get away from the cap and trade and other ruinous economic proposals,to talk about Geo-engineering,as a way out of a hole they stupidly pet themselves in.
It is our attitude toward free thought and free expression that will determine our fate. There must be no limit on the range of temperate discussion, no limits on thought. No subject must be taboo. No censor must preside at our assemblies.

–William O. Douglas, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1952
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#16
Quote:Firstly, there is a risk of unforeseen consequences although I believe that it would be virtually impossible to upset the earth system significantly for extended periods.  For example, the recent unexpected results of adding iron to the oceans.

I brought up that very concern with Richard,but he replied that he is not really wanting them to IMPLEMENT the idea,just to talk about it,and thus give them a chance to get out of the cap & trade nonsense,by talking about Geo-Engineering instead as a way to cool the climate down.That way we buy some time while the real climate is cooling and has been for years now,for that reality to sink into the politicians minds.
It is our attitude toward free thought and free expression that will determine our fate. There must be no limit on the range of temperate discussion, no limits on thought. No subject must be taboo. No censor must preside at our assemblies.

–William O. Douglas, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, 1952
Reply
#17
I agree. 

There is no doubt that geo-engineering can be implemented, given the will.  Although in order to get the project off the ground would take the same level of debate as emissions trading and reduction schemes.  Thus the time scales ought to provide some, hopefully adequate, time for significant cooling and maybe time for the science to get back on track.

The politicians need to be seen to be doing 'something'.  This idea provides that and the breathing space.

It seems that Bjørn Lomborg is already pushing this idea:
http://blogs.ft.com/energy-source/2009/0...te-change/

Since the ball is rolling, climate science is corrupt, and 'something has to be done' then supporting geo-engineering appears to be best way forward.
"Correlation is NOT Causation"
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#18
It took me a little time to get my head around this idea as well Q_C.
I share some of your reservations, BUT, the main strength of the proposal / idea / advocating
geoengineering is that it is NOT deployed untill needed.
They can talk and propose what they want,
in the mean time let us live as we do.
If and when we need geoengineering then use it.

The point is (I think), we will probably never need to use it.
Then in a fairly short time the AGW hypothesis will die a death, as it did not come true,
and we did not use the geoengineering anyway.
A win, win proposition, in that,
totally unneccesay economic hardships are averted and
AGW dies away with the passage of time.
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed
(and hence clamorous to be led to safety)
by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H. L. Mencken.  

The hobgoblins have to be imaginary so that
"they" can offer their solutions, not THE solutions.
Reply
#19
Maybe we should try to think like AGW supporters?  Some thoughts:

1) We are so close to the tipping point that even the skeptics have changed their minds and want immediate extreme measures.
2) We need even more radical cuts in emissions because there is definitely a problem if the skeptics are saying this.
3) Why have they (skeptics) changed their minds?
4) A geo-engineering solution will be too little, too late.

Our responses will be critical and we need to be prepared.
"Correlation is NOT Causation"
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#20
It is obvious from the latest reports that the warming is regional in nature and to combat the regional effects we need to address the regional problems. The regional problems can best be addressed by promoting more low level clouds in the regions where the warming is occuring to provide additional albedo. We can also provide support for drought affected areas and force the clouds to rain out averting flooding.
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