Newmatilda.com, an independent news Web site based in Sydney, Australia, quoted The Bread Line in an article about the future of print media. It is a lengthy article that examines the issue from numerous angles.
Speaking of Australia, a story in today’s Los Angeles Times says climate scientists believe the island continent is “an early cautionary tale for the rest of the world” regarding global warming. Australia’s climate change-induced problems reportedly include “prolonged drought and deadly bush fires in the south, monsoon flooding and mosquito-borne fevers in the north, widespread wildlife decline, economic collapse in agriculture and killer heat waves.”
The Associated Press reported Wednesday that White House officials are looking at using geoengineering technology to purposely cool the Earth’s climate as a last-ditch option to combat global warming if it worsens dramatically. President Obama’s science adviser, John Holdren, told the AP there are two possible geoengineering options:
• Shooting sulfur particles (like those produced by power plants and volcanoes, for example) into the upper atmosphere, an idea that gained steam when it was proposed by Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen in 2006. It would be “basically mimicking the effect of volcanoes in screening out the incoming sunlight,” Holdren said.
• Creating artificial “trees” — giant towers that suck carbon dioxide out of the air and store it.
The first approach would “try to produce a cooling effect to offset the heating effect of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases,” Holdren said.
But he said there could be grave side effects. Studies suggest that might include eating away a large chunk of the ozone layer above the poles and causing the Mediterranean and the Mideast to be much drier.
I’m sure this revelation will become an anti-Obama talking point for conservatives who deny climate change is occurring. I’m sure they will say Obama is going to destroy the planet by shooting sulfur particles into the atmosphere. At least one fringe commentator is bound to say this is evidence that Obama is the Antichrist.
That is why it is worth repeating that Holdren says geoengineering is only being considered as a last resort. It would be foolish not to at least consider all the possible options, even the ones that may never see the light of day. A well-informed decision is always better than a haphazard one.