Thursday, October 30, 2008

Better Living . . . Through Science! (or How to Save the Earth Without Solving the Problem)

Scientists around the world, some begrungingly, recognize the problem of global warming. Granted, "intelligent design" scientists (1, 2) affiliated with Republicons and the Bush administration are still trying to prove that the Earth is just 6,000 years old. The vast majority of the scientific community, however, has moved from trying to convince the Palinites (aka, idiots or blockheads) to working on what to do.

Now, some might think that if you have a problem like, say, smoking that has bad consequences, one obvious course is to stop doing the thing that causes trouble . . . stop smoking. In the case of the global environment, stop pumping millions of tons of carbon into the atmosphere.

But this is the age of The Modern Human or, as discussed some time ago, Homo funestus — Dead Man or Fatal Human. Why solve a problem when you can balance it out with a new problem?

Thus many scientists are now knocking heads to come up with geo-engineering schemes that might reduce the impact of global warming. Here are some of the brilliant ideas:
  • Mirrors in space, to deflect sunlight away from the earth, previously tried in The Simpsons. Whether Fox or Matt Groening will seek patent protection remains to be seen.
  • More pollution or global sunblock. Seed the atmosphere with still more particles to block light from reaching the Earth's surface. Previously tried in Jimmy Neutron, a 3D animation show for kids.
  • Iron the ocean. Salt the ocean with iron filings to promote growth of plankton that absorb CO2. How this works I have no idea.
Once upon a time, science took great ideas from great science fiction, as in geosynchronous satellites from Arthur C. Clarke. Times have changed.

Nevertheless, scientists are brimming with novel novelties. Still, missing from this impressive list is a brilliant idea recently proposed by yours truly — Earth 2. This is far and away the the most absurd, most implausible and, most importantly, most expensive and therefore most best idea for Saving the Earth Without Actually Solving the Problem. I urge all to contact Congress, especially our most right-wing and dimmest Senators and Representatives, to promote this option.

1. Behe, Michael. 'Professor' of Biochemistry at Lehigh 'University' and Senior CSC Fellow at the 'Discovery' 'Institute'.
2. Discovery Institute.
3. Center for Science and Culture.
4. "Climate damage science studied" in The Guardian, Thursday, 30 October 2008.


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