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acid Rain, Global warming, Solar radiation

Geo-engineering to save planet

By Klaus Rohrich

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

It's like one of those really bad black and white science fiction movies of the 1950s. The world is in danger of being destroyed. Particles that have mysteriously appeared in the atmosphere are heating up the planet and threatening to incinerate all life. The media is in a feeding frenzy. The populace is hysterical. Debate rages on what to do about these invasive particles; how to save the world. a thoughtful, pipe-smoking scientist conducts experiments in how to best attack the problem and in a flash of brilliance comes up with a solution: build giant cannons that fire millions of tons of an antidote into the atmosphere to reverse the impending doom. The planet is saved, life continues.

Trouble is, this isn't science fiction. It's real and it's gaining ground in our quest to combat climate change. a Reuters story by ari Rabinovitch, that appeared on December 18, lauds a new plan by Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen, which calls for the annual injection of over a million tonnes of sulphur into earth's upper atmosphere over the next decade, which he claims will reverse the warming trend allegedly caused by so-called “greenhouse gases”.

"Our calculations using the best models available have shown that injecting 1 million tonnes of sulphur a year would cool down the climate so the greenhouse effect is wiped out," Crutzen is quoted in the Reuters story.

Crutzen believes this added layer of sulphates would reflect sunlight back into space, thus permanently reversing the current effects of global warming. a possible down side of Professor Crutzen's plan is a dramatic increase in acid rain, which the good doctor pooh-poohs by saying the amount he advocates injecting into the upper atmosphere is only a small percentage of what already exists at ground level.

What's interesting about the story is the assumption that the root of the current trend in climate change lies in the widespread use of fossil fuels. Crutzen said he envisioned giant cannons dispersing the sulphur to offset the build-up of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, largely released by burning fossil fuels in power plants, factories and vehicles. Rabinovitch never mentions that this is only a theory that has been vigorously debated and is countered by an equal number of scientists who do not believe climate change is the result of man's activities.

Many respected scientists take issue with the current obsession about man-made climate change:

“The global warming observed during the latest 150 years is just a short episode in the geologic history. The current global warming is most likely a combined effect of increased solar and tectonic activities and cannot be attributed to the increased anthropogenic impact on the atmosphere. Humans may be responsible for less than 0.01C (of approximately 0.56C (1F) total average atmospheric heating during the last century... any attempts to mitigate undesirable climatic changes using restrictive regulations are condemned to failure, because the global natural forces are at least 4-5 orders of magnitude greater than available human controls.”
--L.F. Khilyuk and G.V. Chilingar, Environmental Geology, august 2006
“If our short-term paleoclimatic interpretations for the rhythmites are correct, then it is apparent that millennial-scale climate changes occurred over a very wide spectrum of paleoceanographic, paleogeographic, paleoclimatic, tectonic, and biologic conditions and over time periods from the Cambrian to the Quaternary. Given this, it is difficult to invoke models of internally driven thermohaline oceanic oscillations or continental ice sheet instabilities to explain their origin. Instead, we suggest that millennial-scale paleoclimate variability is a more permanent feature of the Earth's ocean–atmosphere system, which points to an external driver such as solar forcing.”
--Maya Elrick and Linda Hinnov, Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. Jan. 22, 2007

More mature readers might recall the concerns of the 1970s when scientists were concerned that an Ice age was on the way. In July 1971 Science magazine ran an article by S.I Rasool and S. H. Schneider that warned the world of the dangers of aerosol use. The two believed that an increase in carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas) was not as likely to warm the planet as aerosols were to cool it. “an increase by only a factor of 4 in global aerosol background concentration may be sufficient to reduce the surface temperature by as much as 3.5K...believed to be sufficient to trigger an ice age.”

Then there is the fact that the surface temperature of other planets in our solar system is also increasing, which can in no way be attributed to the activities of human beings on this planet. Recently it was discovered that the polar ice caps on the planet Mars were shrinking by approximately 10 feet per year, an effect directly attributed to increased solar output.

The current global warming debate is by no means over, just because powerful media elites are colluding with social democrats and one-world government advocates in an effort to impose a new layer of controls on the planet's populace. Given the right choice of words it is possible to convince anyone of anything as was proven by Penn and Teller in their Showtime series entitled “Bullshit”. In the april 18, 2003 episode a woman signs up environmentalists to ban “dihydrogen monoxide” (also known as water) claiming that it is “found in lakes and rivers, it remains on fruits and vegetables after they're washed, it makes you sweat...” and people signed up in droves.

The idea that affecting the rate of climate change through legislation or changing the climate through geo-engineering is the ultimate expression of mankind's arrogance over his environment; of control freaks run amok in an effort to regulate every aspect of our milieu; of gullible people ordering another round of snake oil. Once we run out of aspects of humanity we can regulate, it's time to broaden the regulatory horizons by controlling the atmosphere on the planet on which we live. What's next, a thermostat for the sun?

Canada Free Press, CFP Editor Judi McLeod