Solution = Bigger Problem Ahead
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History is full of examples of Solutions to a perceived problem which have turned sour a little while later. The latest idea of geo-engineering is just another example of what can (and would) go wrong, if pursued.
The Windsor Star reports (Dec. 11, 2012) that the faster-than-expected melting of Greenland’s ice cap could be stopped and reversed. The study suggests we could refreeze Arctic but should we?
All we would have to do is spread a few Billion Dollars’ worth of reflective particles in the upper atmosphere and, voila, the melting will be arrested and reversed.
The whole idea of having to change nature’s course, of course, is driven by the false assumption (based on false computer models) that carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere have anything to do with climate. By now, it should be clear even to casual observers of that discussion that it is nothing but scientific hogwash.
To be fair to the journalist, Bob Weber, The Canadian Press, he does ask the question “Should we?”
The first problem, as I see it, is already the question. It implies that mankind could successfully geo-engineer to suit our perception of the right climate on planet Earth. In fact, the main author of the study, Dr. Keith Davis of Harvard University, claims that “regional geo-engineering” could be undertaken. That implies an even more detailed ability of man to influence and “engineer” the local climate. You may think it to be too cold. No problem. Let’s put some stuff into your local atmosphere to make it warmer.
You may be surprised to learn that regional geo-engineering has been going on for a long time already. For example, the North American Interstate Weather Modification Council has been in existence since the 1975, though it has recently been re-established under a new name and charter, i.e. the North American Weather Modification Council. Neither organisation appears to have been very successful so far, but they keep trying.
A well-known example of regional biogeo-engineering is the introduction of the rabbit to Australia in 1788, followed by an explosion of their abundance and need for more “engineering”, i.e. first by building a rabbit-proof-fence across its habitat in 1907, and after that failed, by their decimation through the planned introduction of the Myxoma virus in 1950. The rabbits developed immunity and in 1991 the Calicivirus was introduced. Suffice to say that they are still abundant to this day.
Another example of the unintended consequences of biogeo-engineering is the introduction of the mongoose to various islands in the Atlantic and Pacific, including Hawaii (in 1800). It was hoped to take care of large (also introduced) rat populations in these places as the rats were decimating the then burgeoning sugar cane industry.
Well, the mongoose did its desired job of decimating the rats, but then the mongoose themselves lacked food for continued survival. So they turned to other species, native birds and mammals, farmers’ chickens and livestock. In short, they became a pest in their own right.
When Will We Learn?
When will we learn from such failed attempts to “re-engineer” the world? This continent is also suffering from a variety of such failed experiments as well as numerous inadvertent introductions of foreign species.
The idea of large-scale cooling of the atmosphere by polluting it with reflective particles is preposterous in itself. All anecdotal evidence suggests that we have only created an additional, often more severe, problem with such actions.
Wake up and put a stop to this craziness!