A fix or the End of All Life?

global warming imagesFormer technology officer for Microsoft Nathan Myhrvold thinks that he has found a cheap and reliable way to solve global warming. He wants to run a hose up to the stratosphere with balloons and using that hose to pump out enough sulfur particles to dim the sun's heat just enough to counteract the effects of global warming. The estimated cost would be about two hundred and fifty million dollars. He thinks that there would not be any unintended consequences - like starting a new ice age or making our waterways so acidic from acid rain that all aquatic life dies out.  But he's not sure...

Comments

Ray Mathis (not verified) 12 years 48 weeks ago
#1

On a related noted Tom, did I hear right that Gayle Norton is going to make a Senate bid in Colorado? James Watt's former understudy at the Mountain States Legal Foundation (Wise Users) Must be pushback against Salazar being Interior Secretary. Think it's connected to Palin being primed for a run in 2012? It would be a repeat of 2000. Didn't Norton lose a Senate bid before Bush nominated her? Spooky stuff and most people don't even know about the "Wise Use Agenda": or the "Sagebrush Rebellion" that started it all.

dan (not verified) 12 years 48 weeks ago
#2

on tuesday's show I tuned in to hear you say that Mitch McConnell's (or was it John Boehner?) picture should be on condoms. I thought that would be a good way to prevent pregnancy because it would kill lead to abstinence. You should run it by Sarah Palin.

Douglas Ure (not verified) 12 years 48 weeks ago
#3

Thom, it is not the sun's heat that is the problem. It is visible light striking all surfaces, being absorbed and re-radiated back into the atmosphere as infrared radiation (heat). Myhrvold's solution would make the upper atmosphere more reflective allowing less visible light to reach the surface, similar to the effects of a massive volcanic eruption putting fine ash into the atmosphere. The one concern I never hear addressed is that this visible light is also what plants use in photosynthesis providing all food for humanity and most other non-photosynthetic species on earth. We would probably see cooling but also reduced crop productivity at the same time that the human population continues to mushroom. This is not an unsupported concern, but is based on documented effects. In 1815 a series of volcanic eruptions in the south Pacific led to crop failures across Europe in the summer of 1816 (The Year Without A Summer). I would certainly like to see this concern addressed before the proposal gets more air time.

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