The Corner

The Upside of the Downside

Al Gore may be encouraged, but I’m not so cheery about this:

NICOSIA (Reuters) – A slowdown in the world economy may give the planet a breather from the excessively high carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions responsible for climate change, a Nobel Prize winning scientist said on Tuesday.

Atmospheric scientist Paul J Crutzen, who has in the past floated the possibility of blitzing the stratosphere with sulfur particles to cool the earth, said clouds gathering over the world economy could ease the earth’s environmental burden.

Slower economic growth worldwide could help slow growth of carbon dioxide emissions and trigger more careful use of energy resources, though the global economic turmoil may also divert focus from efforts to counter climate change, said Crutzen, winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the depletion of the ozone layer.

“It’s a cruel thing to say … but if we are looking at a slowdown in the economy, there will be less fossil fuels burning, so for the climate it could be an advantage,” Crutzen told Reuters in an interview.

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