Serious about global warming?

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on July 31, 2006

Every two years around election time politicians are faced with the question of whether they want to pass a bill or have an issue in the upcoming election.

It's cynical, but that's the way politicians minds work.

Along those same lines, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist has come up with a relatively painless solution to the global warming "problem."

A Nobel Prize-winning scientist has drawn up an emergency plan to save the world from global warming, by altering the chemical makeup of Earth's upper atmosphere. Professor Paul Crutzen, who won a Nobel Prize in 1995 for his work on the hole in the ozone layer, believes that political attempts to limit man-made greenhouse gases are so pitiful that a radical contingency plan is needed.

In a polemical scientific essay to be published in the August issue of the journal Climate Change, he says that an "escape route" is needed if global warming begins to run out of control.

Professor Crutzen has proposed a method of artificially cooling the global climate by releasing particles of sulphur in the upper atmosphere, which would reflect sunlight and heat back into space. The controversial proposal is being taken seriously by scientists because Professor Crutzen has a proven track record in atmospheric research.

A fleet of high-altitude balloons could be used to scatter the sulphur high overhead, or it could even be fired into the atmosphere using heavy artillery shells, said Professor Crutzen, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Germany.

Personally, I'm opposed to such a plan for two reasons:

First, it's a waste of money.

Second, I don't believe mankind is having an appreciable effect on global warming and I don't believe that Crutzen's plan would have an appreciable effect on cooling the planet.

However, for the Al Gores and Arnold Schwarzeneggers of the world, this presents a real dilemma: Fix the problem, or keep it alive so you'll have a political issue?

Who will have the guts to ask Al at his next press conference?


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July 2006



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