Another geoengineering idea – gaming coalition modeled

From the Carnegie Institution  comes a nutty consensus type idea, modeled in game-theory, implemented by an equally nutty future coalition. Law of unintended consequences anyone?

Geoengineering by coalition

Washington, D.C.—Solar geoengineering is a proposed approach to reduce the effects of climate change due to greenhouse gasses by deflecting some of the sun’s incoming radiation. This type of proposed solution carries with it a number of uncertainties, however, including geopolitical questions about who would be in charge of the activity and its goals.

New modeling work from Carnegie’s Katharine Ricke and Ken Caldeira shows that if a powerful coalition ever decided to deploy a geoengineering system, they would have incentive to exclude other countries from participating in the decision-making process. Their work is published by Environmental Research Letters and is available online.

Carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of coal, oil, and gas have been increasing over the past decades, causing the Earth to get hotter and hotter. Large volcanic eruptions cool the planet by creating lots of small particles in the stratosphere, but the particles fall out within a couple of years and the planet heats upagain. The idea behind solar geoengineering is to constantly replenish a layer of small particles in the stratosphere, mimicking this volcanic aftermath and scattering sunlight back to space.

“Attempts to form coalitions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have repeatedly hit the wall, because it’s difficult to get everybody to participate in a substantive and meaningful way,” Ricke said. “Members of coalitions to reduce emissions have incentives to include more countries, but countries have incentives not to participate, so as to avoid costs associated with emission reduction while benefiting from reductions made elsewhere.”

But a game-theoretic model developed by Ricke, Caldeira, and their colleague Juan Moreno-Cruz from the Georgia Institute of Technology showed that when it comes to geoengineering, the opposite is true.

Smaller coalitions would be more desirable to the participants, not less, because those members could set the target temperature to their liking without having to please as many parties. Likewise, countries that aren’t included in the coalition would actually want to join so that they could move the thermostat, so to speak, in the direction that better suits their interests. Since the costs of geoengineering are so much lower than mitigation, once a coalition has formed and has successfully implemented geoengineering, it would have an incentive to exclude permanently other willing participants.

“My view, aside from any technical result, is that it should remain a central goal to maintain openness and inclusiveness in geoengineering coalitions, so that all people who want a voice in the decision-making process are able to have that voice,” Caldeira said.

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101 Responses to Another geoengineering idea – gaming coalition modeled

  1. eworrall1 says:

    I’m reminded of an interview with a senior Egyptian politician, in which he was asked, “Given Egypt’s dependence on the Aswan Dam, what would they do if Uganda or Sudan tried to dam the Nile?”.

    His reply :- “We’d just bomb it. We’d send fighter planes and destroy it.”.

    Start excluding people from important decision making processes, regardless of whether they pay, and their response might be more than harsh words.

    Geoengineering – a recipe for global war.

  2. A.D. Everard says:

    O.M.G. Oh yes, let’s chill us all into the next Ice Age.

    I never realized how many suicidal loonies there are in the world.

    Smaller coalitions? Not have to please so many parties? Is that green-speak for “more easily bullied”. Where will the head of all this sit? Who controls it all? Let me guess, the UN?

  3. PaulC says:

    “Carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of coal, oil, and gas have been increasing over the past decades, causing the Earth to get hotter and hotter.”

    Obviously there exists an alternative Earth. Popular idea in Scifi years ago. Now proven to be true

  4. mfo says:

    “….members could set the target temperature to their liking…. they could move the thermostat, so to speak, in the direction that better suits their interests.”

    When did the CIW start funding 5 year olds?

    I remember a child suggesting the solution to overpopulation was to reduce, by genetic engineering, over several generations, the height of humans to a maximum of 3 inches. I think Jonathan Swift and confusion over GM had a little influence over that. :o)

  5. Stephen Richards says:

    They are REAL lunies.

  6. MangoChutney says:

    Is it April 1st?

  7. Steven Mosher says:

    things would get very interesting if we were able to extract c02 from the atmosphere at will and cheaply.

  8. Les Johnson says:

    Unless they develop a location specific geo-enigineering technique, this is a doomed idea. Why would anyone join in funding, if they can enjoy the benefits free?

    There is not a word strong enought to describe this type of ‘stupid’.

  9. spinifers says:

    I got a better idea: anyone who thinks it’s a good idea to join a coalition to block out the sun, or that such a coalition can “move the thermostat” to a temperature that “suits their interests”, should be banned for life from joining coalitions of any kind.

  10. Les Johnson says:

    And if they didn’t like the results, people outside the coaltion would simply form another coaltion, and institute counter geoengineering techniques. Or war. Whichever was easier.

  11. John Tofflemire says:

    Anthony,

    As someone with a reasonable background in game theory, the results stated here make sense from a game theoretic perspective. The authors are not necessarily stating that geoengineering itself is desirable (this is outside of their scope) but rather that a coalition of parties advocating geoengineering would be better able to convince parties not presently in the coalition to join since those not presently participating would perceive little significant cost and potential significant benefits to join.

    The danger here (and this may be your point) is that geoengineering may have major unintended consequences. If anything, this study highlights that governments may band together to do something incredibly stupid and that an unstoppable momentum may develop because more governments may well be persuaded to join in such madness. If anything, this study is a wakeup call for those who think that geoengineering schemes would never see the light of day.

  12. CO2 has caused the Earth to get “hotter and hotter’…
    past decades ? I’ve seen 7 now and those I spent
    in Germany, mid fifties, were pretty brrrrrr. ([“?….

    Alfred

  13. Veritatis Cupitor says:

    My father once gave my brothers and I some very sound advice.
    To quote “If it isn’t broken, don’t try to fix it. If it is broken, make damned sure you know exactly what you are doing so you don’t make things worse.”
    As an electronics technician with 25 years of experience I would add “Never touch with your bare hands that which you do not fully understand.”

    Having seen first hand the destruction and deaths resulting from failures of people to follow this kind of advice , I can not think of anything worse than some group screwing around with a system as complex as the Earths’ biosphere.

  14. steveta_uk says:

    all people who want a voice in the decision-making process are able to have that voice

    So that would be the entire human race, yes? We all get a say before you loonies decide to [snip . . mod] with the planet?

  15. Steve R in UK says:

    The BS meter pegged when the third paragraph made the usual assertion about CO2 dring the temperature, however this was my favourite part:-
    “Since the costs of geoengineering are so much lower than mitigation….”
    REALLY? Numbers please Kat & Ken, or there is literally nothing to see here.

  16. jones says:

    I was laughed at the last time I contributed to the thread involving geoengineering….(what’s wrong with atom bombs around the equator I found myself asking?).

    However, I am prepared to supply the benefit of my wisdom one more time…..

    Here it is…….

    It occurs to me that if every fridge/freezer on the planet was just left open and turned on……………you see where I’m going with this?……

  17. Franz Dullaart says:

    The stuff of mad “scientists”. Without a proper understanding of what really drives climate, these harebrained schemes could dump us into the next ice age.

  18. johnmarshall says:

    ”The planet getting hotter and hotter” ? Dream on you fools.
    CO2 atmospheric concentrations have increased, naturally not our input I might add, but temperature increase has stalled since 1998.
    This is a case of the alarmists believing the rubbish they preach and getting wilder in their claims. Propagandizing like those Nazis in 1930′s Germany. Or is that another lesson of history forgotten.

  19. Tim says:

    Getting hotter and hotter is it?? Where do they live? Last really good summer the UK had was 1976.

  20. Luther Wu says:

    Halt the sun o’er the enemy’s cornfield
    Sweep those hovels away
    Clear the view for miles around
    Compel the masses away

  21. We don’t call it “Chemtrails” anymore, that’s a “Conspiracy Theory”. We Call it “Geo-Engineering” now. Get with the Program!

  22. Jon says:

    Except, of course, the public.

  23. Steve B says:

    Scary

  24. James Allison says:

    Kath n Ken y’all needed to create a computer model to determine that smaller coalitions would be more desirable to the participants under the scenario you described? Unbelievable.

  25. Bob Koss says:

    More ridiculously shallow thinking by academics.

    Their so called theory assumes countries wishing to have climate move in the opposite direction will join their coalition or just idly sit by and do nothing to counteract the effect the coalition is trying to impose.

    Countries wishing to raise temperature have no incentive to even bother to join a coalition which is attempting to lower temperature. No compromise temperature would be acceptable to either group as they have opposing goals. A 2nd coalition would form to move temperature in the opposite direction. So you’d have a war of the geoengineers doing all sorts of things to screw up the climate with countries which like the temperature as it is caught in the middle. And if one side finds it is losing by too much, then it will escalate to a real war.

  26. Peter Stroud says:

    “……causing the Earth to get hotter and hotter.” Perhaps some one should tell them that the Earth has not warmed for 15 years.

  27. Doug Huffman says:

    And geopolitical questions of who would be responsible for failure, for unintended consequences, and for the unintended consequences of failure. Intentionally polluting the stratosphere seems to violate the progressive’s darling precautionary principle. IOW, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and pot-holed with what-ifs.

  28. RexAlan says:

    “New modeling work”. As I’m sure someone has said before…it’s models all the way down.

  29. Disko Troop says:

    Do these people just sit there and play computer games all day and get paid for it?
    Why did I bother to spend 40 years in industry when I could have sat at home with my playstation like these tossers and made statements of the bleeding obvious every six months to collect my pay. No wonder there is so much junk science around.

    Ivor Ward

  30. Bloke down the pub says:

    If the average household can’t agree on what temperature to set the thermostat, how do they expect a global system to end any way other than in bloodshed?

  31. On a limited basis I agree with this on a planetary level, but Geo-Engineering is most harmful to human health, I copied and pasted this from the web;

    “Chemtrails? lmao

    Do you have any idea the amount of any substance you would need to seed the planet – leave alone the fact that its dispersal would not be even worldwide.

    We have been pumping ‘greenhouse’ gases out for centuries – decades at very high rates – and given the alleged harm potential for it, the world IS still here.

    Just think about that, for decades nearly everything we have manufactured has been producing these gases.

    Do you conspiracy ‘enthusiasts’ really think that a few aircraft dumping a bit of chemical in the atmosphere has ANY comparison with decades of manufacturing emission?

    ‘Chemtrails’ would be an absolutely wasteful, inefficient and dangerous transmission system. One reason that chemical and biological warfare weapons have never been deployed in huge volume is because of unpredictability. When the soldiers were using poison gases in WWI they found that sometimes it killed your own troops in numbers too – with the wind blowing it back or local environmental conditions delaying the breakdown of the chemicals.

    The condensation trail of an aircraft only looks big because we can see it against the ‘invisible’ medium of air – compared to the amount of atmosphere there is, it is insignificant.

    Besides, air quality is monitored throughout the globe – how come none of these observations have ever found anything anomalous?”

    But this statement does not answer the question I have; Why wasn’t I asked first if I would allow them to experiment on me?

  32. Otter says:

    Geopolitical questions….

    Well, I have one: what if the particular coalition behind the geoengineering, decides to make use of the shitfs in climate it might cause, to wreak havoc on someone they don’t particularly like? Seems like this would be a great weapon. ‘Ooooops! We goofed (snicker)’

  33. H.R. (off fishing in Florida) says:

    “New modeling work from Carnegie’s Katharine Ricke and Ken Caldeira shows that if a powerful coalition ever decided to deploy a geoengineering system, they would have incentive to exclude other countries from participating in the decision-making process.”

    And if an individual could control the ‘thermostat’ they would have incentive to exclude everyone else on earth from the decision-making process, even small powerful coalitions. It’s called tyranny and there was no need to model anything at all, knowing that for as long as we’ve been walking upright (and longer than that I suppose) tyrants have been working to get their hands on the control knob.

  34. techgm says:

    Aside from the very questionable premise regarding CO2 and warming and the technical dangers/costs/practicality of implementing such a scheme, this is truly creepy – the sort of thinking that can only come from the minds of people who have little to do and who are paid a lot for it. This is the kind of thinking that leads to war, even global war.

  35. garykk5st says:

    Like soccer’s seasons, the silly season never ends.

  36. johnmarshall says:

    There seem to be no comments to this report. Problems???

  37. Brian Johnson UK says:

    Institution? Mental Institution most likely. What absolute garbage……

  38. There are two prerequisites for life on this planet that the powerful wish to control, Carbon Dioxide and sunlight. Control CO2 and sunlight and you control photosynthesis and the size of the food chain. We are ruled by a ruthless elite weaned on Darwinism, Malthusism and Nihilism who presume ill-gotten wealth implies “strongest”, therefore they should decide who shall live and who shall die. These elites have created a false science paradigm to support their elgatarian goals. Carbon Dioxide does not warm the planet. Green energy takes more primary fuel to create than can ever be recovered, and is therefore unsustainable. Hydrocarbons are the precursor to life, not the finite residue of past life. AGW, sustainable energy and peak oil form the triad of this false paradigm.

    For more on the peak oil fiction read… http://FauxScienceSlayer.com/pdf/Fracturing_Fossil_Fuel_Fable.pdf

    The Carnegie group has been cooking up green kool-aide for a century. It is sad that the editors of ERL are drinking the green meanie poison.

  39. Truthseeker says:

    Another trough for the rent-seeking bureaucrats and NGOs to feed from.

    Alarmism, the leech that keeps on leeching …

  40. Gary Pearse says:

    “so that all people who want a voice in the decision-making process are able to have that voice,”

    Somehow I’m not getting a picture of democracy at work here.

  41. Tom in don't mess with my sunshine Florida says:

    “Carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of coal, oil, and gas have been increasing over the past decades, causing the Earth to get hotter and hotter.”

    No need to read any further.

  42. Geoff Withnell says:

    I think it quite likely that some nations would consider any geoengineering by another nation or nations, that reduced their crop yeild, etc from what it would otherwise be, as an act of war. Do we really want to open that can of worms?

  43. Admad says:

    Starting with a fake premise in the very first sentence, followed by reference to models and game-play… do I want people with this mindset to have any control over global climate? I think I would rather a coalition of Josef Stalin and Adolph Hitler, the world would be a safer place!

  44. CodeTech says:

    Two thoughts:

    First, if global warming ever actually becomes a problem, we have a fairly good idea that this is a possible solution. Global warming is not a problem. If you have you “convince” people that tiny changes in temperature that don’t even go outside the bounds of previous weather are “global warming”, then chances are it’s not happening.

    Second, when the inevitable unintended consequences kick in and entire crops are failing, people are dying, and the world is thrown into chaos, expect the apparatus and all facilities and people and countries involved to be on the receiving end of some retaliatory nukes, or worse. Those would be coming from the countries that would have tried to stop said geoengineering experiment.

    We barely had a summer the year that Pinatubo weather was happening. We had snow in August. This area produces a large amount of food. Get this geoengineering thing the tiniest bit wrong and there is no longer sufficient food, period. And don’t even think about the possibility of triggering an ice age, or little ice age.

    Cold is worse than Warm. Anyone who has ever lived in a winter climate can tell you that. People die from cold, and they’re not computer modeled people, they’re real people with names and families. Nothing grows in the cold. Cold = death. Cooling is NOT a goal for civilization.

  45. William McClenney says:

    Filed under:
    CC and Politics, The Horror Begins

  46. Peter Dunford says:

    This could lead to war.

  47. David Banks says:

    God help us if these morons are seriously considering this.

  48. AndyG55 says:

    This is getting serious!
    .
    The responses to a non-existent problem are going to destroy the world, first economically then environmentally. (or whichever happens first)

    TOTALLY CRAZY !!!!

    But how to wake these idiots up to reality ! ???????

  49. arthur4563 says:

    Actually, given the choice, I’d rather see a geoengineering approach over what’s going on now,
    which is both very expensive and very ineffective. Almost anything would be an improvement..

  50. ITSTEAPOT says:

    and if it all goes wrong and we end up with an ice age? who do we blame!

  51. Hoser says:

    Such stupidity could be a reason to go to war. The ‘geoengineering’ group might have to be stopped if their efforts were having any effect. The consequences of not stopping them could be temeratures much lower than they expect, crop failure, famine, deaths, and expensive and dangerous disasters such as ice storms.

  52. Frank K. says:

    MangoChutney says:
    February 22, 2013 at 1:02 am

    Is it April 1st?

    No, I’m afraid not…[sigh].

  53. rgbatduke says:

    The real point of this is that there exist a variety of very high risk “space” solutions that would permit us to modulate insolation. I read about one of them in a science fiction novelette by Murray Leinster when I was nine or ten years old. They are high risk in the specific sense that if we do it wrong, we could kick the planet into an ice age or a real hothouse scenario as once we dump a “comet’s tail” of ionized metal gases into (say) a geosynchronous orbit around the Earth, they’ll stay there until sunlight itself pushes them away.

    They are on the table if and only if the catastrophists turn out to be right. On this list everybody seems to be “sure” that that cannot happen, but I am not, I just think it is somewhat unlikely. It’s good to think that we have technology based options, and good practice for the equally unlikely case that we will one day want to terraform a marginal planet or a planet like Venus that is nearby but currently has a toxic unreduced atmosphere. In the meantime, the smart thing to do is wait and see and study without prejudice.

    rgb

  54. Fred from Canuckistan says:

    Eco Greenie GeoEngineering Wet Dreams. . . . Because some people can’t fathom that a nation in debt up to its eyeballs and running massive deficits just doesn’t have the money to entertain such intellectually foolish mental claptrap.

    Time the universities started to evaluate the teaching staff and fire the ones who don’t have any common sense.

  55. Steve (Paris) says:

    Meanwhile its snowing again in Paris. Could THE COALITION please nudge up the temp a notch to save on my heating bill? +15°C would do nicely, with a cooling spell when at bedtime. Thanks.

  56. Hoser says:

    Well, how about that? There were no posts visible when I wrote mine. Now there are 5 others, and we do seem to agree. Tchüß.

  57. RobRoy says:

    Geo-engineering, really. Talk about dangerous climate change.
    The real misanthropic solution should be suicide booths.
    With the most guilt ridden liberals going first.

  58. Gary Pearse says:

    Why do these geoengineering schemes look like the plot of a Dr. Evil?

  59. scott says:

    If done it should be implemented just over hot desert areas like death valley, sahara desert etc.

  60. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    So the modeling results show you’d get a small group making global decisions that best benefit the small group,

    And the individual excluded parties would want to join in, slant the global decisions to their benefit, which the small controlling group would reject.

    So basically they have modeled how the UN Security Council got formed and functions, at least with regards to the permanent members.

    Toss in some more grant money, maybe they could model how the lesser parties can be mollified by letting “regional groups” appoint temporary representatives to defend the interests of their regions, not just their home countries, while the original small group retains the important powers, namely not allowing the others to make any decisions that any of the original small group members don’t approve of.

    Yup, that should only cost a few million more and yield a couple of peer-reviewed journal articles.

  61. Clay Marley says:

    On this is rich. Suppose hypothetically we had the geo-engineering technology to dial in a desired average earth temperature. What should it be? We skeptics have said for years there is no “right” temperature and this illustrates the point. The folks in Canada and Russia would like it a few degrees warmer: they could be the new breadbasket of the world. The folks in North Africa and the Middle East would like it a few degrees colder. They could turn the Sahara into the breadbasket too. Who decides? There will be winners and losers. There will be war. Did Carnegie include that in their game?

    The whole idea of geo-engineering on a global scale is insane anyway. Whenever we muck with Mother Nature even on local isolated scales it turns into a disaster. For a good example of conservation hubris and stupidity, look at what has been done with Macquarie Island.

  62. Steven Mosher says:

    “The danger here (and this may be your point) is that geoengineering may have major unintended consequences. ”

    Yup! Putting C02 in the air, or taking C02 out of the air are both geo engineering. And yes geoengineering may have major unintended consequences.

  63. What was that song? something like:
    “Let’s all fly a kite
    From earth block all sunlight
    … … ”
    geo-engineering for kids.

    Alfred Alexander says:
    February 22, 2013 at 1:13 am

    CO2 has caused the Earth to get “hotter and hotter’…
    past decades ? I’ve seen 7 now and those I spent
    in Germany, mid fifties, were pretty brrrrrr. ([“?….

    Soltau Luneberg plain winter 1986 temperature minus 35C

  64. Jimbo says:

    Why would Canadians join? Would Kenya notice? Would all countries be interested in reducing temperature?

  65. Got it :twisted:

    Let’s go fly a kite
    From Earth block all sunlight
    Let’s all fly a kite
    It’s oh so easy
    Up in the atmosphere
    We’ll change the biosphere
    Let’s all go fly a kite.”

  66. alan says:

    The important idea here is not scientific, but political. Their “science” of geo-engineering is silly. But their computer modeling is aimed at social engineering and is much more dangerous. This is the old Leninist mindset, that an “elite” group is better positioned to impose its global will if it does not share decision making. The Green/Red Coalition is a Bolshevik cancer in our free world today.

  67. Jimbo says:

    Before they geoengineer they have to tell us what the normal average temperature of the Earth is? It’s no easy question unless you average the Holocene temperature. Heck, they may have to warm it up instead of cool it down. Heh, heh.

    If they tinker it could be the start of the world’s first Goldilocks Wars.

  68. Mickey Reno says:

    When these idiots can prove it’s possible to do something SIMPLE, like balance a budget for a large national government, and to implement policies that can easily adapt to keep that budget in balance during periods of economic variation, and to pay back debt and/or grow the economy to increase revenues when it’s necessary to borrow, THEN I might be inclined to give them a more demanding task. Till then, these philosophical alchemists can go suck an egg. Oh, and please, no more public research money for these dolts!

  69. wws says:

    “Why do these geoengineering schemes look like the plot of a Dr. Evil?”

    LOL, exactly what I was thinking! “Let’s build a Giant Magnifying glass out in space, hundreds of miles across, and it could focus a beam of sunlight on anything that we decided shouldn’t be there just like a kid and an anthill. And then we’ll just count on everything just working out from then on. What could go wrong? What? You people who think this isn’t a good plan Just Don’t Get It, do you?”

  70. DesertYote says:

    Why was I hearing a slight Austrian accent as I read the article?

  71. Wamron says:

    This is hilarious for what it indicates about the mis-match of intention and outcome in the thinking of such idiots.

    1) Presumeably those excluded would be states that dont buy the need for such a project. They want to develop and CO2 emissions go with that.
    2) If they are excluded for being naughty CO2 emitters they can also say”hey you guys, you want to regulate the climate, fine, that means we dont need to cut back on CO2 emissions AT ALL.”
    3). The excluded states remove all impedimentts they may have adopted as sops to the CO2 looney narrative, UN etc, and just ramp up their CO2 emissions wey beyondwhat they would otherwise.

    Brilliant! It means the crazy West (which is the home of climate lunacy) can spend whatever they like performing engineering projects to compensate perceived “pollution” by the rest of the world who can then just get on with trying to develop unfettered by this crap.

    Its a win win situation.

  72. jorgekafkazar says:

    Admad says: I think I would rather a coalition of Josef Stalin and Adolph (sic) Hitler, the world would be a safer place!”

    We had that coalition. It wasn’t.

  73. Since the costs of geoengineering are so much lower than mitigation, once a coalition has formed and has successfully implemented geoengineering, it would have an incentive to exclude permanently other willing participants.

    That really should be: IF the costs of geoengineering are so much lower than mitigation BY THE COALITION and cheaper than other options, then the coalition would be stable within itself.

    Even more broadly, if the benefits of the activity to the COALITION out weigh the costs to the COALITION, the coalition is stable and the activity will continue. This is a process that describes the majority of all human activity.

    The question then becomes how do groups outside the coalition react to net consequences of the geoengineering — or at least the fear of consequences? It is why we have (and need) an EPA hold a coalition accountable for the total costs of their activities and not to

    The idea behind solar geoengineering is to constantly replenish a layer of small particles in the stratosphere, mimicking this volcanic aftermath and scattering sunlight back to space.

    The authors present a broader case to their detriment. Solar geoengineering is a broad category including space mirrors.

    What they allude to here is a specific stratospheric seeding of SO2 to increase planetary albedo. In this one case they may have found a case where the costs are low and the perceived benefits high so that a country or coalition could fund it and “to hell with everyone else.”

    This one case, might be very asymmetric. The cost of a geoengineering project to cool the planet could be much greater than one to warm it. This would preclude the formation of an opposing coalition to geoengineer a warming project. Those opposed to the cooling project would form coalitions seeking cheaper ways to counteract it — air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles.

    What sort of geoengineering coalitions might have already formed:

    Cloud Seeders. OK, this is a local geoengineering — at least most people thinks so. It’s effectiveness seems to be modest. And some hold that it does not “Rob Peter to pay Paul”. But what if it did? What if there was a rain shadow downwind of cloud-seeding activities. “See you in court” would be the most mild response.

    Ocean Fertilization. This is geoengineering that can be carried out by a single aqua-farmer-fisherman. What some see as fertilization and increasing the biological yield of a patch of ocean, others see as water pollution and dangerous geoengineering. Opposing coalitions have formed to make the practice illegal, but it is not possible to form a geoengineering project to counteract it. It is another asymmetric situation.

  74. Ack says:

    1) How long before this would be “weaponized”? Do as we say or we will shut off your sunlight
    2) Who would control the thermostat?

  75. jorgekafkazar says:

    Most commenters are missing the point. The post isn’t about geoengineering or global warming. It’s about game theory, period. Game theory isn’t playing games with actual people. It’s playing games with imaginary people who make imaginary decisions based on imagined self-interest, people who exist only in the mind of the theorist. In other words, game theory consists of the theorist playing with himself.

  76. Ryan Simpson says:

    “Ever since the beginning of time, man has yearned to destroy the sun. I shall do the next best thing: block it out”
    –Mr. Burns

  77. policycritic says:

    Newsflash: It’s already happening, and without our knowledge or consent. Perhaps you aren’t aware of it because the name Geoengineering was changed to Climate Remediation, and Solar Radiation Management (SRM)
    This is the go-to page for papers, government action, and projects between the US and UK governments:
    http://www.agriculturedefensecoalition.org/content/geoengineering-current-actions

    The site is run by Rosalind Peterson, a co-founder of the Agricultural Defense Coalition. She is a former farmer who worked for the California Dept. of Agriculture for years. If you have time you should watch the first video on the page. It starts out slowly–it was recorded during a Radio Liberty seminar lunch, I think, so you can hear clinking glasses and murmurs–and it seems for the first 10 minutes as if Ms Peterson might be rambling about something she has scant grasp of, or that she has a political axe to grind. Then it becomes riveting.

    This woman is a quiet determined activist machine. Her work for the State of CA, before she retired, involved assessing crop damage and causes. She was also a certified U.S.D.A. Farm Service Agency Crop Loss Adjustor. She has decades of experience.

    The paper on this homepage that floors me–there are, actually, too many–is listed as this

    25 1 2010 University of Calgary Geoengineering Cost Analysis Using Jets October 30, 2010 Aurora Flight Sciences Final Report-Keith.pdf but this is the direct link.

    Aurora Flight Sciences prepared it for Professor David Keith, Canada Research Chair in Energy and the Environment, Director ISEEE – Energy and Environmental Systems Group, University of Calgary, Canada. Member of the Royal Society Geoenginering Group (2009) as Peterson describes him in her link to his audio clip.

    If you want to read insanity–and IMO, evil–skim the first six pages of the Aurora report. They want to dump 1 million tonnes of sulphur compounds into the air at an altitude of 40 to 100 kft (best is above 60) and at a cost of billions per year. Who is paying for this? Peterson mentions it in her talk. She says we spent years getting sulphur compounds out of diesel fuel and reducing those emissions in smokestacks, as Dr. McKitrick pointed out in his WUWT-TV presentation, and these nutcases want to put them back in. Without public debate. Without discussion. Zip. Even David Suzuki is listed on her page calling geoengineering insane.

    Dr. Keith is the guy who was asked in the film “Why in the World are They Spraying?” if he could identify the consequences of the geoengineering he proposed, and he couldn’t answer. The film is on Peterson’s geoengineering page at my first link above. This film, unbelievably, is being branded as conspiratorial in the MSM.

    I wish this site would ask her to guest post about the topic, and give her wider exposure, if she has the time.

  78. _Jim says:

    thelittlebrother says February 22, 2013 at 9:00 am

    “I Was The Doctor Treating The Pilots” – Dr. Deagle
    aircrap.org/chem-trails-doctor- …

    Chem-what?

    The website ref’d clearly claims “Monitoring the Planned Poisoning of Humanity”

    The video is titled: “Chem-trails – I Was The Doctor Treating The Pilots …” and in a category labelled “Chem-trail Evidence, Featured”

    Potentially USDA choice grade-A ‘crock’ material, and seemingly outside allowable site-content limits (but the final determination of that classification is outside my purview.)

    And since no real comment was posted, I’m tempted to believe you’re an acolyte of Michael the ‘wise guy’ engaging in drive-by posting (just curious now, but how did you find this site, WUWT?)

    Soon, we will be over-run by like-minded ‘drivers’ I am thinking … let one in, the ‘herd’ follows.

    [Reply: chemtrails comment deleted. — mod.]

  79. Doug Proctor says:

    Foolish work based on multiple unstated assumptions. I’ll only address the first three that strike me:

    1. That nobody wants a suboptimal solution even if it is free, and

    The best solution is to get as much as you can for as little effort as possilbe. Which is to ride on the coats of others. Only if what you get for mimimal effort is truly insufficient should you do more.

    This connects with the second assumption,

    2. More pertinently: that governments in general act in the best interests of the majority of their citizens.

    It is hardly necessary to go through history, ancient, recent or current, to see that Those At The Top rarely act in a way that benefits the masses below if it causes loss to themselves. Only when enlightened self-interest (an educated, medically fit workforce, for example) benefits TATT, are the rest treated better than possible.

    Together, the truth about the falsity of the above two assumptions leads to what I suggest we call “The Al Gore Principle”: do best for yourself with as little effort as possible, regardless of what you could do for the greater good. Its model is the sale of Current TV to Al Jazeera/Qatar.

    The optimal solution for the planet heading towards a CO2-induced apocalypse would have been the sale of Current TV to a Sierra Club or David Suzuki clone who would use its reach to convince the general populace to pull back on fossil fuel use and push forward on clean environmental actions. But this would have resulted in a sale price less than $500 million, and less than $100 million in his own pocket. So he didn’t do this. He sold Current TV to the network owned by the governmentl of the argest energy consumers per capital on the planet, one that is near to Abu Dhabi as the largest water-consumers per capita on the planet. And the government whose entire national interest is in selling its oil production for the longest period possible.

    The Al Gore Principle: do not do anything to indicate your personal “beliefs” if it results in getting a buck less in your jeans than looking the other way. From this example, AG being, an insignificant insect on the world stage, why would we expect ANY powerholder act outside of his own, general, self-interest?

    But there is a third assumption, also unstated:

    3. That a warmer world, even a much warmer world, comes at a greater cost than benefit to all.

    In fact, there are places, peoples and nations for whom a warmer world is ALL benefit, an no cost. Polar bears may have a different opinion, but those who live in colder climates will benefit overall from a warmer world in those places where overall moisture and temperature extremes are not impacted to a problem level. Why are the governments so interested in an ice-free Arctic if the loss of Arctic ice is all bad? What would the central Canadian provinces not like about the extended growing seasons and range of farming? And if the moist-air theories hold (more water), there are going to be wetter areas that please the inhabitants.

    Sunshine resorts on Vancouver and the Channel Islands: how do you think the geoengineering votes will go there? And what about self-interest in others’ misfortunes: is the US in the mid-East because it wants to build the Muslim countries into powerhouses, or to keep them weak (er than the US)? Wouldn’t some countries prefer a warmer world if it kept their potential or actual competitors further from their front doors?

    Standing by while a problem is being fixed is the optimal solution for all. Getting a buck of benefit for 10 bucks of effort (to account for the coat-tailers) is not optimal for the payers. Avoiding beneficial effects to you while helping others who are not your friends stay strong are not good ideas.

    A cooperative, planetary level geo-engineering project is a no-starter for any but taxpayer-funded buddies of the political class.

    Stupid, limited, non-creative thinking. If academics weren’t so self-indulgent and monomaniacal, they would be …. business people doing things that are useful.

  80. _Jim says:

    jorgekafkazar says February 22, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Most commenters are missing the point. The post isn’t about geoengineering or global warming. It’s about game theory, period. …

    Well, geo-anything seems to bring out the Keepers Of Odd Knowledge (K.O.O.K.) crowd …

    They are veritably waiting-in-the-wings to swoop in ‘coat-tailing’ (or coat-racking as McIntyre puts it) on any issue even remotely related but containing certain (con-spir-acy) imagination-stimulating keywords like geo-engineering.

    .

  81. Jimbo says:

    Is this team sure that all countries will want it cooler if it gets warmer?

    Medieval Climatic Optimum – Michael E Mann
    Volume 1, The Earth system: physical and chemical dimensions of global environmental change,
    pp 514–516

    It is evident that Europe experienced, on the whole, relatively mild climate conditions during the earliest centuries of the second millennium (i.e., the early Medieval period). Agriculture was possible at higher latitudes (and higher elevations in the mountains) than is currently possible in many regions, and there are numerous anecdotal reports of especially bountiful harvests (e.g., documented yields of grain) throughout Europe during this interval of time. Grapes were grown in England several hundred kilometers north of their current limits of growth, and subtropical flora such as fig trees and olive trees grew in regions of Europe (northern Italy and parts of Germany) well north of their current range………………………..

    Some of the most dramatic evidence for Medieval warmth has been argued to come from Iceland and Greenland (see Ogilvie, 1991). In Greenland, the Norse settlers, arriving around AD 1000, maintained a settlement, raising dairy cattle and sheep. Greenland existed, in effect, as a thriving European colony for several centuries. While a deteriorating climate and the onset of the Little Ice Age are broadly blamed for the demise of these settlements around AD 1400,
    http://www.meteo.psu.edu/holocene/public_html/shared/articles/medclimopt.pdf

  82. DirkH says:

    jorgekafkazar says:
    February 22, 2013 at 9:17 am
    “Most commenters are missing the point. The post isn’t about geoengineering or global warming. It’s about game theory, period. Game theory isn’t playing games with actual people.”

    Well, some game theorists feeding at the warmist money trough. Like every sociologist or psychologist does these days.

  83. _Jim says:
    February 22, 2013 at 11:03 am

    “And since no real comment was posted, I’m tempted to believe you’re an acolyte of Michael the ‘wise guy’ engaging in drive-by posting (just curious now, but how did you find this site, WUWT?)
    Soon, we will be over-run by like-minded ‘drivers’ I am thinking … let one in, the ‘herd’ follows.”

    I’m flattered to be acknowledged as an influential voice in the worldwide blogosphere, even by the likes of you Jim. Your drive-by attacks on the voice of reason won’t be successful in stopping the signal. We are legion.

    PS
    The language has been changed for purposes of legitimate scientific discussion. Get with the program.

  84. Dr Evil says:

    wws

    I am Dr Evil and I want to know where you obtained my top-secret plans.?

  85. Climate geo-engineering with space mirrors. You get to change the climate to your benefit, and your enemy’s detriment. Plus, you get a Mark I Death Star into the bargain.

    What’s not to like?

  86. Rhoda R says:

    Any politician who seriously proposes to initiate a geo-engineering project to limit CO2 needs to be shot out of hand. And that includes that idiot-child industrialist who polluted the Pacific with iron filings.

  87. _Jim says:

    michaelwiseguy says February 22, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    I’m flattered to be acknowledged as an influential voice in the worldwide blogosphere, even by the likes of you Jim. Your drive-by attacks on the voice of reason won’t be successful in stopping the signal. We are legion.

    No … no flattery … more in a lugubrious way … think more along the lines of Medusa, or mephistopheles, with inordinate power to briefly ‘stun’ his/her victim briefly for the purposes of accomplishing nefarious goals … also the Greek Hydra comes to mind, as one of your posts is ‘trimmed’ for site policy infractions another one ‘grows’ back … the mythical Greek creature Cerberus comes to mind too, you know, the three-headed, giant hound that guarded the gates of Hades.

    I’m just trying my darnedest to get you branded as the “Chem-trail Guy”, or “MichaelCehmTrail” vs Michael weiss guy …

    .

  88. Dr Evil says:

    Philip Bradley

    Same question to you…..

    Dr Evil

  89. Dr Evil says:

    This isn’t looking good for security at Acme Evil Inc…….

  90. Lance of BC says:

    Over 10 years ago I read a science site proposing a positive contemplation of using geo-engineering to cure global warming and I was quite taken back that scientist were even thinking of this insanity. I commented that introducing maybe pathogens into our environment without knowing the consequences is a crimes against humanity and is akin to dumping toxins into our environment like industry in our past. The only difference is adding real pollutants into our world purposefully …to when we did not know or understanding of the consequences of our actions in the past. And if they did this kind of insanity any where near me I’d take matters into my own hands to stop them.
    Of course this was just a emotional driven comment and maybe a little hyperbola on my part, never expecting it to ever happen or get legs.

    Skip to today and I’m seeing that these insane ideas are starting to be played out and being given credence by so many in post modern science. Only last years dumping more than 100 metric tonnes of iron into the Pacific Ocean in Haida Gwaii by a first Nations salmon restoration group by geoengineering to deliberately modify the environment to combat climate change.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/10/28/bc-ocean-iron-dumping-haida-gwaii-un_n_2032827.html
    This is the scary future or should I say NOW, eco geoengineering terrorist taking matters into their own hands. The iron may have done nothing, but the disregard and consequences for the environment is just beyond stupid.

    ” there is no cure for stupidity”

  91. Mark Alger says:

    I believe that there needs to be a shift in the dialectic. We should stop speaking of “unintended” consequences. When the outcomes of a course of action are well known, predicted, and even warned of, and some idiot decides to go and do the thing anyway, he should not be let off with a claim that the consequences were “unintended.” Especially not in the case of geoengineering. The consequences are deliberate and intended, and damned be he who eventuates them.

    M

  92. Steve B says:

    I am wondering – Do any of these scientists play Sim City by any chance?

  93. Dr Evil says:

    Steve B

    Infinitely more fun using real cities……

    Dr Evil

  94. Mark Bofill says:

    rgbatduke says:
    February 22, 2013 at 5:46 am

    The real point of this is that there exist a variety of very high risk “space” solutions that would permit us to modulate insolation. I read about one of them in a science fiction novelette by Murray Leinster when I was nine or ten years old. They are high risk in the specific sense that if we do it wrong, we could kick the planet into an ice age or a real hothouse scenario as once we dump a “comet’s tail” of ionized metal gases into (say) a geosynchronous orbit around the Earth, they’ll stay there until sunlight itself pushes them away.

    They are on the table if and only if the catastrophists turn out to be right. On this list everybody seems to be “sure” that that cannot happen, but I am not, I just think it is somewhat unlikely. It’s good to think that we have technology based options, and good practice for the equally unlikely case that we will one day want to terraform a marginal planet or a planet like Venus that is nearby but currently has a toxic unreduced atmosphere. In the meantime, the smart thing to do is wait and see and study without prejudice.

    rgb
    ——————-
    Well said! A quiet statement of sanity in the face of this madness bears emphasizing.

  95. Goode 'nuff says:

    My 2 cents, don’t even dare try it until there is a successful way to ‘remove’ light scattering stratospheric dust. That is what the cooling in the last 16 years is all about, imho. Some meteor shower intensification and volcanic increase.

  96. David Cage says:

    But we now have proof that greenhouse gases do not have any effect since the climate is not warming. Reality check someone in climate science or politics please.

  97. _Jim says:

    David Cage says February 23, 2013 at 12:23 am

    But we now have proof that greenhouse gases do not have any effect since the climate is not warming. …

    Whoa; overstep (McIntyre might say ‘a bridge too far’)? … H2O vapor is part of that family, and it *does* have an effect!

    (Surely you weren’t including WV?)

    .

  98. John Trigge (in Oz) says:

    Isn’t the UN supposed to be the arena where every country has a voice and is able to ‘set the thermostat’ for whatever problem there is in the world?

    We can all see how that has worked for the past 50 years or so. World peace, the end of hunger, good living standards for all!!!

  99. wayne Job says:

    After studying ” crowd sourcing of the paleoclimate ” the solar and ocean pages here at WUWT, I would seriously consider taking up arms to prevent any attempt at geoengineering our planet.

    We are bouncing along at the end of an interglacial, the flapping of a butterflies wings could see us enter another mini ice age or worse at any time. Mr Mosher, your sarcastic quips are enlightening in their total lack of reality, your religious belief in the AGW scam comes across for all to see. CO2 is our friend we need more of it not less.

  100. wayne Job says:
    February 23, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    I am that “Butterfly”, and I pray for the current Solar Minimum to continue. Some people still need to learn their lesson the hard way.

Comments are closed.