The AP Goes Crazy for Global Warming

Just how crazy, you ask? Think of the wackiest global warming "fix" you can imagine. Then compile as many of those crazy ideas as you can and you'll have this AP wire report: Crazy ideas to combat global warming.

If anyone had any doubts how nuts the media has gone over global warming, let this article put those doubts to rest:

Crazy-sounding ideas for saving the planet are getting a serious look from top scientists, a sign of their fears about global warming and the desire for an insurance policy in case things get worse.

How crazy?

There's the man-made "volcano" that shoots gigatons of sulfur high into the air. The space "sun shade" made of trillions of little reflectors between Earth and sun, slightly lowering the planet's temperature.

The forest of ugly artificial "trees" that suck carbon dioxide out of the air. And the "Geritol solution" in which iron dust is dumped into the ocean.

"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."

This one is so good, you just have to read it all. Just when you thought we were supposed to be reducing our impact on the Earth's energy balance comes this:

A private company is already carrying out this plan. Some scientists call it promising, while others worry about the ecological fallout.

Planktos Inc. of Foster City, Calif., last week launched its ship, the Weatherbird II, on a trip to the Pacific Ocean to dump 50 tons of iron dust. The iron should grow plankton, part of an algae bloom that will drink up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Try to gloss over the dollar figures that have already been spent on these concepts or else you're likely to get very sad or angry or both:

NASA is putting the finishing touches on a report summing up some of these ideas and has spent $75,000 to map out rough details of the sun shade concept.

...One of the premier climate modeling centers in the United States, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, has spent the last six weeks running computer simulations of the man-made volcano scenario and will soon turn its attention to the space umbrella idea.

But the best for last - this one has got to be my personal favorite:

For far-out concepts, it's hard to beat Roger Angel's.

Last fall, the University of Arizona astronomer 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.

...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.

But we inevitably come back to the cost:

And then there's the cost: at least $4 trillion over 30 years, probably more.

And that would just be covered by the government, right? Er, I mean, the taxpayer.

As a meteorologist, I closely follow and analyze the news that is published regarding topics in the world of weather and climate. I maintain a seperate website devoted to, among other things, climate change in the news. Visit and comment at Notes in the Margin.

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