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Nutbar elites


Combat climate change by pumping liquid sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere through nozzles in a hose lifted more than 15 miles into the atmosphere using helium-filled balloons. As described by [former Microsoft technology chief Nathan Myhrvold] in an interview this week, the idea behind this "Stratoshield" would be to dim the sun in critical areas of the world by just enough to reduce or reverse the effects of global warming.

So, when will this expensive, complex, and unproven Rube Goldberg- and Windows Vista-like device kick in, anyhow?


[pounds head on table] It really does seem like it's not possible to get our ruling elites to propose any solution to anything that isn't, er, fucking nuts. Climate change, health care, finance, the empire: You name it. It's like the "solution" is to do what we're already doing, except more so.

Turn the knobs up to 11!

NOTE Via Kevin Drum

NOTE "Say, the size of that hose reminds me..."

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BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

but for the past 30 years the U.S. response to any policy failure is to double down on the policy. It's insane. Literally.

jumpjet's picture
Submitted by jumpjet on

Sort of a Break Glass In Case of Emergency thing.

I don't want to have to resort to hard-core geoengineering, but things have gotten bad enough on the climate change front that we have to at least consider the possibility.

I certainly agree that it shouldn't be our first option, though. Or even our second or third or fourth option. But the elites are also big supporters of the fossil fuel paradigm, and changing them will be hard going, even in the face of a Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum type of catastrophe.

selise's picture
Submitted by selise on

i encourage everyone who hasn't already to read hansen's proposal for a carbon tax and 100% dividend. it's a way to have very high taxes on greenhouse gases (high enough to prevent new coal fired electrical plants from being built) and to do it in a progressive fashion.

this program would not be subject to financial innovation by the banksters, the cbo says that a carbon tax would be far more efficient than cap and trade:

and it would be easy to encourage international implement with importation tariffs (the message being: tax your carbon content or we will).


like single payer, it is a policy that could work, it is simple to explain, simple to monitor, creates a constituency because of the number of people it benefits immediately, it is not subject to FIRE industry parasitism, etc.

therefore it is off the table.

Bryan's picture
Submitted by Bryan on

We can get the sulfur dioxide by burning coal, so it should be cheap...[/snark]

I think Nathan just had a setback when his balloon designer got busted in Colorado.

Are they going to do this before or after Bill Gates's project to reduce the destructive force of hurricanes by pumping cold water from the bottom of the ocean to the top with a fleet of ships that will be sailing just in front of the storm?

And this would be better that energy conservation measures which not only reduce greenhouse gases, but save people money?

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Instead of these nutjob ideas, we could simply switch to solar, wind and hydro by 2030, which would provide jobs, go a long ways towards saving the planet, and reduce overall energy consumption by 30%.

Oh, wait, if we did that, then our money would have to go to pay for that and not for Goldman Sachs bonuses and billionaire dream homes. So, yeah, I guess we won't be doing that.

To the liquid sulfur dioxide pumps it is!

mojave_wolf's picture
Submitted by mojave_wolf on

if we did that, then our money would have to go to pay for that and not for Goldman Sachs bonuses and billionaire dream homes. So, yeah, I guess we won't be doing that.

I had just posted almost the same thing in my lj, along w/a link to climate progress, then I get to Corrente and you guys are on the same topic!

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Cannon was talking about climate change just the other day.

I, like Cannon, have no idea how feasible and plausible his suggestion is, but while it sounds nutbar, I also think it sounds possible.

mojave_wolf's picture
Submitted by mojave_wolf on

see here:

It's part of a takedown of a book, but it covers this idea (and this person) pretty well. This writer (with notes to other scientists with whom he double checks) covers what is wrong with the "pumping crap into air to save us" theory in great detail, finishing with this:

We would be in completely unexplored territory — what I call an experimental chemotherapy and radiation therapy combined. There is no possible way of predicting the long-term effect of the thick stratospheric haze (which, unlike GHGs, has no recent or paleoclimate analog). If it turned out to have unexpected catastrophic impacts of its own (other than drought), we’d be totally screwed.

No surprise, then, that science advisor John Holdren told me in April that he stands by his critique:

“The ‘geo-engineering’ approaches considered so far appear to be afflicted with some combination of high costs, low leverage, and a high likelihood of serious side effects.“

Even geoengineering advocate Tom Wigley is only defending “a complementary combined mitigation/geoengineering scenario, an overshoot concentration pathway where atmospheric carbon dioxide reaches 530 ppm before falling back to 450 ppm, coupled with low-intensity geoengineering,” with the goal of stabilizing global temperature rise at 2°C, in case we can’t stabilize at 450 ppm. You can see a good discussion of that at the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists‘ expert roundtable response to Alan Robocks’ excellent piece, “20 reasons why geoengineering may be a bad idea.”

Well, stabilizing at 530 ppm requires doing a massive amount of mitigation starting now — only 2 or 3 fewer wedges than what is needed for 450 (see “How the world can (and will) stabilize at 350 to 450 ppm: The full global warming solution“).

Levitt and Dubner and Myhrvold are FAKERs. They simply don’t know what they are talking about.