Thank God for Experts

Top scientists have come up with some really great ideas to fight “global warming.”   Some involve massive pollution (dumping huge amounts of iron into the ocean, creating a man-made volcano to erupt).  Good thinking, guys: talk about burning the village to “save” it.  But the best idea, the real knee-slapper, is this one: 

 Last fall, the University of Arizona astronomer [Roger Angel] proposed what he called a “sun shade.” It would be a cloud of small Frisbee-like spaceships that go between Earth and the sun and act as an umbrella, reducing heat from the sun.  “It really is just like turning down the knob by 2 percent of what’s coming from the sun,” he said.

The science for the ships, the rocketry to launch them, and the materials to make the shade are all doable, Angel said.  These nearly flat discs would each weigh less than an ounce and measure about a yard wide with three tab-like “ears” that are controllers sticking out just a few inches.

About 800,000 of these would be stacked into each rocket launch. It would take 16 trillion of them — that’s a million million — so there would be 20 million launches of rockets. All told, Angel figures 20 million tons of material to make the discs that together form the solar umbrella.

And then there’s the cost: at least $4 trillion over 30 years, probably more. “I compare it with sending men to Mars.I think they’re both projects on the same scale,” Angel said. “Given the danger to Earth, I think this project might warrant some fraction of the consideration of sending people to Mars.”

$4 trillion dollars.  Trillions of little umbrellas in space.  Thanks a lot, Dr. Scientist! 

Here’s a telling quote:

“Of course it’s desperation,” said Stanford University professor Stephen Schneider. “It’s planetary methadone for our planetary heroin addiction. It does come out of the pessimism of any realist that says this planet can’t be trusted to do the right thing.”

Apparently, one can become a Stanford University professor without acquiring basic language skills.  What is a “planetary heroin addiction?”  Is he saying we’re all addicted to heroin?  Is he saying the Earth is addicted to heroin?  I’m going to assume he’s saying we’re all addicted to creating carbon dioxide (in other words, we’re addicted to breathing and using fuel to carry out our daily tasks of existence), and these cockamamie schemes are “methadone” to wean us off our addiction.  But how would they accomplish that?  Even if they worked (which I’m willing to bet entire body parts they won’t), all they would do is offset, by an infinitesimal amount, carbon emissions.

When he says that “this planet can’t be trusted to do the right thing,” I’m going to assume he means Other People (he, of course, would do the right thing).  Gosh, Mr. Schneider, if people are the problem, why not nip it in the bud and just get rid of all the Bad people?  If we could get rid of a couple billion useless eaters, that would get rid of most carbon emissions.  If you’re really serious about “saving” the Earth, why not propose the most logical course of action: eliminate carbon emissions at their very source.

The most ridiculous thing about these ideas, and the people who propose them, is that this planet’s climate will change and shift–sometimes dramatically–no matter what we do or do not do.  The hubris of these people is truly staggering.

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~ by lewdandlascivious on March 19, 2007.

8 Responses to “Thank God for Experts”

  1. Hubris? How about the fact that trillions of little solar umbrellas will require an insane amount of energy to make? The carbon dioxide emissions from a trillion solar panels are more than what they would deflect from the sun. Harrumph!

    “Planetary heroin addiction:” addiction to heroin that comes from planets. You know that asteroids are made from heroin, right? 😉

    Stupid question: what percentage of the Earth’s mass is 20 million tons? Wouldn’t this change the rotational acceleration of Earth? 😉

  2. Don’t forget the joy of them falling back to earth. Priceless.

  3. Didn’t C. Montgomery Burns try to do something similar in Springfield? \\

  4. Hahaha!!!! Prolly!
    So did my little brother when he was 4. He dressed up in his Superman costume and announced he would save the world by turning back time (i.e., running around the house as fast as he could). Then he got bored, so he took his clothes off and ran around in the sprinklers.

  5. Anyway… if the satellites were at geostationary orbit, they would not fall back down to earth. Problem is, if you’re going to have them up in space, you have the obligation of ensuring that they avoid every other object currently in space (satellites, space stations, etc). Several trillion little umbrellas are certain to violate that law.

    (Of course, I shouldn’t talk, having misspent some of my youth working on the Space Elevator project.)

    Don’t forget the joy of them falling back to earth. Priceless.

    Only if we can choose where they hit. It would be glorious irony to have them, say, fall on Al Gore’s house.

  6. Pink Elephant – you are right! That is the first thing I thought of. It was in the Simpsons episode that was a parody of “Who shot J.R.” LOL

  7. I have to say that I have read and reread this post several times, just for the smile factor. This so makes my day.

  8. Thanks, Kelly!!! Truth is stranger than fiction, that’s for sure.

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