The Corner

Forward, Not Backward!

A nice piece for fans of geo-engineering (even though there’s too much volcano-loving going on for my tastes):

Alan Carlin, senior economist with the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, says bluntly that conventional approaches to global warming will almost certainly fail, “quite possibly, disastrously.” These centralized control techniques, he says, are based almost exclusively on the global rationing of fossil fuels, a mechanism that dooms “de-carbonization” to failure. “Humans have advanced as much as they have,” he says, “because, in no small part, they have used fossil fuel energy to provide services that once depended on animal and muscle power. The way forward is not to turn back.”

 ”[Carbon] emission reductions will be … technically risky, inflexible, extremely expensive and politically unrealistic,” Mr. Carlin says. “They will probably delay more effective, and vastly less expensive, measures.

“This suggests the awful possibility that very large amounts of money may be spent in a futile attempt to reduce GHG emissions at the same time that all of the possible adverse economic consequences of climate change are realized.”

Mr. Carlin argues that no global warming of any kind has taken place in the past decade and that the world needs to deploy climate change control mechanisms that can deal, on short notice, with different degrees of either global warming or global cooling.

The real problem, Mr. Carlin says, isn’t carbon, per se. “When the Earth is warming, it is receiving more radiation energy than it is losing, which is the basic cause of increasing global temperatures,” he says. “If not corrected, either by man or by nature, the climate system may get out of control – with unknown, but possibly catastrophic, consequences. The actual solution is to bring Earth’s radiation balance into equilibrium.”

He advocates solar radiation management (SRM), a geo-engineering solution that would mimic volcanoes – but without the destruction.


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