Luxury Maine Geoengineering Climate Conference

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

One hundred scientists gathered late last month in a luxury ski resort in Maine to discuss Geoengineering.

To Stop Global Warming, Should Humanity Dim the Sky?

The world’s top geoengineering researchers met off the record to discuss the possibility in Maine last month.

ROBINSON MEYER AUG 7, 2017

Late last month, about 100 researchers from around the world gathered at Logan International Airport in Boston. A fleet of buses appeared to whisk them to a remote and luxurious ski resort in northeastern Maine. They met to talk, drink, and cogitate off the record for five days about a messy solution to one of the world’s most challenging problems. They had gathered to discuss how to provide humanity one last line of defense against catastrophic global warming: solar geoengineering.

Last month’s meeting arrived at the consensus that this final technique—called stratospheric aerosol injection—is the best bet going forward. Researchers don’t see a technological impediment to developing seeding tools, seeing the few remaining problems as within the capability of any large aerospace company. There are plenty of natural precedents for stratospheric aerosols, too—volcanoes have gone off hundreds of time during human history—and they see it as the most reversible and easy to model.

“When you put particles in the stratosphere, it’s simpler to calculate what the effect would be on the energy budget and on the temperature,” said Storelvmo. “Anything that involves clouds generally becomes much more complicated.”

This neat efficiency separates solar geoengineering from its sibling, “carbon geoengineering,” which aims to directly scrub the atmosphere of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases. If perfected, carbon geoengineering could permanently solve the problem of global warming, but researchers consider the technological advances needed to accomplish it far-off, and the meeting didn’t address it.

It’s still unclear whether solar geoengineering will ever be deployed. Some researchers, like Wagner, consider it a virtual certainty. “It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when someone will pull the trigger,” he told me.

Ken Caldeira wasn’t so sure—though he said that last month’s meeting helped solar geoengineering seem real to him. “The meeting made me take it a little more seriously as something practical, and not just theoretical,” he said.

He continued: “I think it really rests on this question of: Is climate change going to be catastrophic, or is it going to be a nuisance and an ongoing cost? If it’s a nuisance, probably people will muddle through. But if climate change does turn out to be catastrophic, then solar geoengineering is pretty much the only way that our political system could start cooling the Earth in a few years or decades.”

The next off-the-record Gordon conference on solar geoengineering has already been planned for the summer of 2020.

Read more: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/08/geoengineers-meet-off-the-record/536004/

Why did the geoengineering scientists have to be bussed off to a remote luxury ski resort? Boston has good facilities for hosting large conferences. In any case, if anyone missed the Maine conference, Berlin is hosting a major geoengineering conference in October.

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101 thoughts on “Luxury Maine Geoengineering Climate Conference

    • Because the fools who think that man is powerful enough to emit enough CO2 to drive the climate towards catastrophic warming also incorrectly believe that man can similarly affect the climate in the opposite direction. It’s really no different then the failure to accept reality that drove the egocentric psychology that led to considering the Earth as the center of the Universe.

      • How can you possibly “engineer” a system that you do not understand and cannot even measure effectively?!

        We have little real working knowledge of the key processes of climate: evaporation , advection, condensation, cloud formation and precipitation.

        We do not even have a useful record of historic cloud amount and the actual effect of different kinds and altitudes of clouds on different parts of the spectrum are still deeply uncertain.

        If we start screwing with stratospheric aerosols that will necessarily affect other things like cloud and humidity in a complex non linear system that we fundamentally do NOT understand the workings of.

        Thinking that we can just tweak one climate variable is naive to the point of stupidity.

      • The assumption that the Earth was the center of the universe was the combination of the Earth being a sphere, the perfect Heavens were always in a direction that was up, away from the Earth, and dung rolls down hill. The Earth being at the center of the Universe is the only location where it could be to catch all of the corruption that tainted Creation, but could not adhere to anything outside the orbit of the Moon. The Moon’s irregular surface was seen as evidence that some of the primordial corruption could stick to the Moon, so its nearness to Earth was because it was almost as imperfect as the Earth was. No egocentric psychology was involved. That was assumed later to explain why anyone could look at the heavens and not realize that the Earth went round the Sun, as if heliocentrism was obvious and not the result of years of laborious curve fitting calculations using decades of nightly observations.

        Until Kepler fit the meticulous observations of Tycho Brahe into a system of elliptical orbits about a stationary Sun, the limited abilities Galileo’s telescopes presented the false data that the stars cannot be far enough away for there to be no stellar parallax, so the only rational conclusion was that the Earth was the center of the solar system, as no movement could be observed. Kepler proved that the Earth orbited the Sun without needing to show that the Earth moved relative to the stars, and the system that he described made fewer, smaller errors than either of the Copernican or Ptolemaic systems (which both had the same errors).

      • Greg – In fact, you can stick a solar sunshade out at L1 (more likely a constellation of them) and cleanly reduce one variable, received TSI. In the timeframes available, if the alarmists are right, we are likely to have the capability to do it.

        Fortunately, we’re already pursuing most of the component technologies necessary to do it. If the EM drive turns out to be proven to work, we’re pretty much home free.

      • I think the approach is not too bad.

        First, they say with a mild warming mankind could muddle through.

        Second, they say, CO2 reduction may not work out.

        Third, they say, only with extreme warming they could use that approach.

        So this seems a perfect plan to me: Forget about CO2 reduction, and use the particle engeneering only if extreme heat appears.

        As this never will happen, everything is fine and we will save a lot of money and trouble.

        An if we sceptics were wrong – dust in the air really reduces heat and will disappear within months or years.

    • It’s another expensive solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. As PT Barnum said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” All of us who allow governments to waste our money on this lunacy are the suckers Barnum was referring to.

      • And…..as it turns out, there is a chance that even this may not be true and that Barnum was being credited with saying something that someone thought he SHOULD have said.

        There’s a sucker born every minute. “There’s a sucker born every minute” is a phrase closely associated with P. T. Barnum, an American showman of the mid-19th century, although there is no evidence that he said it. Early examples of its use are found instead among gamblers and confidence men.

      • All the people who live in areas that get snow in winter (like me) should have more of a say in this matter because cold kills more people than heat.
        I would gladly do away with winter for hotter summer days.

      • It’s beyond insane as the entire scientific community can’t define climate! To allow these fools to hack our atmosphere is Insane!

        God help us all

  1. Why did the geoengineering scientists have to be bussed off to a remote luxury ski resort?“…

    Simple. Collectively these supposed scientists didn’t want to be confronted by the reality of their inane stance and what normal people might think about it.

    • The more likely answer is that in August ski resorts are usually pretty cheap.

      “Boston has good facilities for hosting large conferences.”

      Right now Boston hotels are very expensive. In May I attended a family wedding event at a Sheraton (decidedly not luxurious) in a suburban Boston office park, and it was $599/night (almost $700 with taxes and fees). I did not pay nearly that amount in Manhattan in August.

      • Right now Boston hotels are very expensive“…

        No doubt but if these hypocritical clowns wanted cheap with facilities there is a few Marriotts in Springfield, Mo for a damn site less money ($110 – $125 plus tax)…

        What’s the big attraction in Boston driving the prices of hotels etc?

      • …and if they are real engineers there may be an assumption (correct or not) that they don’t really know how to party properly.
        The full-on UN parties in some other global locations attract a large influx of ladies of the oldest profession, who turn out to be the most honest delegates in town.

      • The big attraction of Boston these days, is that it is almost completely free of Kennedys.

        g

  2. “When you put particles in the stratosphere, it’s simpler to calculate what the effect would be on the energy budget and on the temperature…”

    “Simple”? Seriously? In a highly complex, chaotic system? This is why they keep failing in their predictions.

  3. As if anyone understands the climate well enough to “engineer” it. Throwing virgins into volcanoes to appease Pele or Gaia would have about as scientific a basis.

    • “Dangerous idiots, the lot of them.”

      Yes, they are.

      They are assuming a danger, CAGW, that does not exist. It exists only in their computer models and fevered imaginations. It does not exist in the real world.

      If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And the atmosphere/climate ain’t broke.

      Astronomers will not be happy about people trying to make it harder for them to do their jobs by filling the atmosphere with particles that block out the light. Although the editor of Astronomy magazine might go along with it since he is a True Believer in CAGW, even though there is no evidence for such. But that doesn’t dampen *his* certainty.

  4. Where are the bodies piling up? There must be a huge emergency happening somewhere to justify such environmental risk taking.

    Where are the bodies? GK

  5. I’ve got a great idea, why not take all the particulate/soot scrubbers off Diesel engines and Coal power plants, thus these particulates could be used to cool the planet. It would be like thousands of Hiroshima sized volcanoes going off, problem solved. Actually it is a double win, cars and power generation would be less expensive and no additional investments would need to be made in terraforming our planet . Volkswagen were pioneers in this area, they were trying to save the planet unbeknownst to everyone else. /sarc

  6. The fact that these folks are seriously considering tampering with the atmosphere (everyone’s atmosphere) in order to control the weather is sufficient evidence that they should not be allowed out without supervision.

  7. The biggest danger from geo-engineering the climate are the unintended consequences, especially since the intended consequence will be absent owing to the absurdly high and demonstrably incorrect climate sensitivity that its deployment would be based on.

    • Take the Ocean Spray Vessel pictured. Unintend Cons #1.
      Purdue University researchers, working with scientists from Battelle and the University of California, Irvine, discovered that bromine and chlorine, two chemicals found in sea salt, may initiate a series of chemical events that destroy ozone in the Arctic troposphere, the lowest part of the atmosphere.

      How big an Ozone Hole these guys planning on?

  8. Goldilocks would be pleased that expert geo-engineers can keep the planet not too hot, not too cold, but just right.

    There’s an old adage that when your only tool is a hammer everything looks like a nail. Expert geo-engineering indeed. Be prepared to provide references from grateful residents of planets which have benefited from your work.

    Also note the assumption that human CO2 emissions are the sole control for the weather. Oh, and tell us all how you know you can warm the planet to undo the unforseen harm you do putting crap into the atmosphere.

  9. The most interesting questions about “re-engineering” the atmosphere in order to prevent “catastrophic warming” are not scientific. They’re legal.

    It’s scientifically far-fetched whether we understand climate, or even weather. Experts can trot out mind-numbing formulas, but we don’t have enough data to evaluate the long-term, let alone “re-engineer” it. For most of my lifetime, a popular cliché was: “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” Climate is a helluva lot more complex and mysterious than individual weather events. Nevertheless, over the last 30 years the enormous presumption has taken hold that we can pinpoint the ideal climate, and “do something” to perpetuate it with an ideal mix applicable to Ethiopia, the Maldives, Michigan and more.

    Of course, that’s humbug. Where it really gets interesting is what tort lawyers will do about it when some cockamamie scheme goes blooey. I dislike ambulance-chasers as much as the next feller, but there they are, hanging around like scavengers to gobble up any crippled beast that falls out of the herd.

    Just suppose the humbugs launch particle emitters into the stratosphere, and a series of storms, droughts and floods follow within a few years. Never mind that said storms, droughts and floods are within the range of normal, and no cause-and-effect can be established. That hasn’t stopped humbugs from mischaracterizing Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy, the recent 5-year drought in California and dozens of other recent, normal events. Trial lawyers will drag the emitters into court — the World Court in The Hague, if necessary — and sue the bejesus out of ’em for a bazillion jillion in damages. Surely they could recruit a few doomsayers as “expert witnesses.”

    “Yup, I told em to spray the stratosphere, but not with THAT MUCH STUFF! Lock ’em up and throw away the key.”

    Sobbing widows and orphans will be paraded in front of TV cameras. “Mad scientists did this to me. Hang ’em from the highest hill.”

    Other mad scientists will testify in behalf of the widows and orphans — soon to be followed by 8-figure book advances and worldwide lecture tours.

    • Yes, the legal difficulties! Remember cloud-seeding for local rain-making? There were promises it would solve drought problems. But someone will be adversely impacted, and sue. Even if cloud-seeding has major net benefits, there are employment opportunities for lawyers. So we haven’t seen much use of cloud-seeding since it was first in the news.

  10. Volcanoes have drastic effects on climate as witnessed by terrible weather following Pinatubo, Krakatoa and Tambora. Now imagine putting a bunch of particles into the atmosphere, followed by an unexpected and major volcanic eruption. Not a nuclear winter: an idiot winter.

    Instead of throwing virgins into an active volcanic caldera, these idiots should all be tossed into the fiery abyss.

    • Interesting point about volcanic eruptions dropping temperatures. Note the various climate models that also show temperture drops after Pinatubo and the other recent eruption. It might be that Climate Scientists(tm) feel that their models can predict / project volcanic eruptions too. Omniscient Climate Scientists have no qualms about mucking up the atmosphere because they have augured that there will be no eruptions.

      • Neil, Pinatubo is one of the inputs into the climate model. This is one of the issues we have with them. The models have carefully modeled inputs and then are fitted to represent past temperatures. However, we obviously don’t have this data for the future. This is why model validation against future data is so important.

  11. Stupid beyond belief.
    CO2 is transformed to sugars by photosynthesis. If light is blocked from reaching the surface, the rate of photosynthesis will decrease, slowing the rate of removal of CO2 by natural, biological processes, and enhancing the rate of increase of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    • At what level of adding aerosol particles to the upper atmosphere would enough solar energy be reflected away from the planet that the solar-driven redistributive currents that circulate and redistribute poleward the energy that’s absorbed into the tropical oceans and seas would stop? Would this geoengineering produce the risk that we could have an effectively dead planet on which equatorial and tropical latitudes accumulate heat until they are too hot for humans and northern and southern more poleward latitudes that are too cold to support complex life of any kind?

  12. Russ George had the idea that by emulating the natural iron fertilization of the oceans via blowing dust, that biomass would increase and sink to the ocean floor, thus sequestering Carbon.
    What actually happened is that the increased biomass was quickly gobbled up by the ocean’s hungry food chain.
    The scientific community then worked overtime to prevent George from trying his experiment again, but he did anyway, in the guise of a company engaged in efforts to increase Salmon production in the Pacific Northwest.
    George spread iron sulfate over an area of the Pacific near Haida Gwaii and after a couple of years, the Pacific Northwest’s Salmon catches increased to record levels, by as much as 400%, from the Columbia River, to Alaska.

    Predictably, he was pilloried once again for his efforts and even accused of violating UN and other maritime agreements concerned with dumping “wastes” at sea.

    George’s scheme remains about the only geoengineering effort which makes any sense, if it can even be called geoengineering.
    Some might argue that George’s plan makes too much sense and would end the warmists’ cause outright.
    One has only witness the immediate and overwhelming efforts to stop George, to see some truth in that viewpoint.

    • The Fe scheme has a further benefit food and good food. In a way the harvest of fish has industrially removed Fe from the oceans and the sprinkling of FeSO4 would simply restore the natural balance and all that without any ideological content.
      The pacific islands could all harvest CO2 credits and fish from us the wealthy. No NGO’s no Greenpeace no conference.

    • Russ George is a great and heroic man who is the only one solving the problem and benefiting mankind, rather that wasting breath and money. I teach my children about him and how men like this are always repressed in their time, and only eventually are recognized for their great works, almost always after they are dead. Scott Pruit should turn his attention to Mr. George and star conducting large-scale (and affordable BTW) experiments.

      Thank you Mr. Robertson for bringing it up in this discussion.

  13. Wind farms paid millions not to produce electricity
    “More than £300m has been paid in compensation for wind turbines to lie idle in Scotland, sparking calls for an end to the green energy ‘subsidy junket’.
    Scotland’s 3,000 wind turbines produce more energy than is needed north of the border. The remoteness of many wind farms means the power they generate cannot be transported to England and Wales.
    Consequently, turbines are routinely powered down to avoid producing excess energy, yet operators are still paid generous subsidies via consumers’ bills”
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/scotland/wind-farms-that-lie-idle-and-get-millions-5kfgm8bd8

  14. It’s still unclear whether solar geoengineering will ever be deployed. Some researchers, like Wagner, consider it a virtual certainty. “It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when someone will pull the trigger,” he told me.

    This demonstrates just how far out in cuckoo-land some “researchers” are.

  15. It’s still unclear whether solar geoengineering will ever be deployed. Some researchers, like Wagner, consider it a virtual certainty. “It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when someone will pull the trigger,” he told me.

    This demonstrates just how far out in cuckoo-land some “researchers” are.

  16. If necessity is the mother of invention, we’ll wait a good while longer. But is political “necessity” the mother of dysfunction or of tyranny.

  17. The biggest question once we can “set the thermostat” of the earth is what the temperature should be . Whereever you set it there will be winners and losers. Not only is it likely wars will be fought over it, but also eventually it would be used to destroy other countries that are at different latitudes .

    To be fair, you can get really good rates during the summer at most ski areas.

  18. Its obvious that only a small fraction of the people on this board have friendships with climate activists. If you did you would know that the only things they hate worse than CO2 is nuclear and Geo Engineering. If they are busing people to a resort its to protect them from climate activists.

    My personal opinion for the two cents its worth is that we should run limited Geo Engineering studies to see if we can impact the climate and the amount of life in the ocean deserts. If we look at the ice cores, the climate has gone through natural drastic changes. Our choice is whether to just let it happen or to moderate the effects of climate change. It would be better to test it on a limited scale and determine if we can moderate the effects of both natural and man induced climate change.

  19. We all agree that climate change is real and that the solution is to reduce the emissions of the gases that cause global warming,” said Alan Robock, a professor of atmospheric chemistry at Rutgers University and one of the co-chairs of the Maine meeting. “The Paris Agreement was a good start, but those pledges aren’t enough, and we have to reduce more.

    So how do they square that with the dino-sized “carbon footprint” of not only flights to and from Boston of 100+ attendees, but also bussing them to northeastern Maine, likely some 150 miles away or so? Hypocrites much? The Global Warming/Climate Change enthusiasts get to travel to exotic/ritzy places, and party, on other people’s dime, and get to feel the smug self-satisfaction that they are helping to “Save the Planet”.
    Makes me sick.

  20. Choice for individuals is getting scarcer. I can use less electricity if the price is too high but truly polluting the stratosphere, I have to take what comes. Fortunately the US can veto this sort of thing and will. Can you imagine the bullets we dodged by saying no to HRC? We would be 20% into her “promise” to build 500 million solar panels, she would have sent $100B of Deplorables’ money to the UN and she’d be bankrolling this Crony capitalist idiotocracy experiment on 7B people.

    I had warmed a bit toward Roger Sowell with his first invitational essay here, but his follow up on the wonderful economics of renewables, shows us the kind of elitist thinking and the post normal rationales for perpetration of this diabolical future on the world.

    I guess after seeing the nouveau statistics and murdered data that the central planning folk at EU/UN/Davos types had their scienticians develop for their centerpiece Climate Command to demonstrate why we have to do away with free enterprise, free speech, democracy and western civilization, it should come as no surprise that old fashioned economics and logic isn’t suitable for this sterling all-in plan either. I was criticizing the science and not reading the Nouveau Monde politico-economic reports it spawned. R. S. wised me up – of course they cook it up too, and like the science, they will be teaching that designer-brained stuff in schools by now.

    One final thing I realize from trying to argue where they may have gone wrong, is there is no way you will get even a small alternative thought across to these newly minted brains. The ‘tell’ is they never say “good point, I never considered that angle”. They ignore or rejigger your point, or if it is terminally damning, they insult you and belittle your idea without taking you on. Another tell, is they dont understand at all that they have put their ideas out to the world’s experts when you have an open, uncensored site like WUWT. They have no respect at all as they are most comfortable standing up in front of their own flock. A no apology or explanation dismantling of this zebra-mussel clogging of society must simply be prosecuted as quickly as possible.

  21. CO2 is not an important climate driver. Aerosols can be. If you try to compensate an assumed, but way too high, CO2 ‘warming’ with aerosols you will overcompensate massively and thus drive the temperature, not back to what you assume to be ‘normal’, but much lower. In other words, you are in danger of driving the planet into an ice age.

    This geo-engineering is a pretty dangerous idea.

  22. Why does this goofy idea keep coming back?

    That is not a “goofy idea” to any of those 100 or so researchers who got to enjoy an “all expenses paid” five (5) days of meetings and partying at a Maine ski lodge.

    BOSTON – An Acton couple was arrested today and charged with defrauding the U.S. Treasury Department of more than $50 million in tax free energy grants as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

    The Recovery Act provided tax-free grants to individuals and businesses who put certain “specified energy property”—such as wind farms and gasification systems that convert trash into electricity—into service in a trade or business.

    Read more @ https://www.justice.gov/usao-ma/pr/acton-couple-arrested-defrauding-treasury-department-over-50-million-tax-free-energy

  23. I think the approach is not too bad.

    First, they say with a mild warming mankind could muddle through.

    Second, they say, CO2 reduction may not work out.

    Third, they say, only with extreme warming they could use that approach.

    So this seems a perfect plan to me: Forget about CO2 reduction, and use the particle engeneering only if extreme heat appears.

    As this never will happen, everything is fine and we will save a lot of money and trouble.

    An if we sceptics were wrong – dust in the air really reduces heat and will disappear within months or years.

  24. Trying experiments on the biosphere because you are suffering the delusion that your activities can control the Earth’s climate in a predictable way without undesirable and unknown consequences should lead to kind men or women in white coats taking you away for a long rest and some treatment of a chemical nature.
    These people are dangerous and any insane scheme they devise should require extraordinary proofs before being even contemplated. Legal challenges should most certainly be used to halt such insanity.

  25. I have a great idea. We need to develop an additive to the atmosphere that will cause a little bit of warming close to sea level, where it will cause more evaporation, thereby causing more clouds which will reflect more sunlight away from the surface. Only a fraction of a percent more cloud cover is required to counter the effects of global warming. Hmmm…looking at my gas proprties charts, it looks like a good candidate for our additive would be CO2…

  26. It’s just amazing to see that these people are still toying with incredibly expensive and impractical solutions to a problem which they themselves are beginning to admit is based on very speculative and unproven foundations.

  27. As I said before (and many have thought), “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

    Where’s the Proof (with a capital “P”) that Man needs to do anything or even CAN do anything, to prevent/control nature?

  28. On the bright side- perhaps they will learn enough about geoengineering to take a stab at solving a real climate peril, i.e., the end of the current interglacial. The end is coming soon and it ain’t gonna be pretty.

  29. “To Stop Global Warming, Should Humanity Dim the Sky?”

    Isn’t this blamed for the cooling from the mid 1940’s to the late 1970’s, “stuff” in the air “dimming” the planet? Why can’t “scientists” leave something they don’t understand, that is apparently stable, not warming by any significant amount, no increases in rain, drought, wind, heat etc etc etc. As Gunga Din says, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! (Even if the climate was broke, reducing CO2 won’t fix it).

  30. These geoengineers suffer from relevance deprivation syndrome. They are usually so boring that nobody will talk to them. This is their chance to get some of those climate science dollars and five minutes of fame.

  31. The biggest question is how do we lock these people up before they do,something dangerous.

    Technically. the UN Convention on Biological Diveristy already makes it illegal for these guys to experiment with these insane ideas without specific permission but I think they will do it anyway. They are obscessed in an unusual way and they will try it despite the UN convention. They need to be locked up.

  32. “Is climate change going to be catastrophic, or is it going to be a nuisance and an ongoing cost?”

    Have these bozos ever considered that it might be a benefit?

  33. Eric asked: “Why did the geoengineering scientists have to be bussed off to a remote luxury ski resort? Boston has good facilities for hosting large conferences. In any case, if anyone missed the Maine conference,”

    Prestigious Gordon Research Conferences – not everyone who applies is accepted – originally we held at empty private schools in the summer where everyone had the opportunity to meet, talk and eat together for five days in isolated spartan quarters and community dining halls in the wood of New Hampshire. It’s a very different environment from big conferences in big cities.

  34. I am not in favour of Geoengineering, but if you insist, we Australians will try and put up enough pollution (per Capita) to keep our summers cooler like they have been for the past 4 or five years, and while we enjoy another mild summer, you guys in the Northern Hemisphere can endure a glacially colder, freezing Al gore effect extended Winter. Keep him home and it will be very, very, cold!

    That should sort out the Northern Hemisphere important geoengineering buffs!

    • New South Wales Fire Services in Australia are doing their bit by backburning in preparation to the summer fire season. I don’t recall many serious outbreaks of fire last summer.

  35. All geoengineering schemes suffer from the fact that their proponents are deluded into believing that they understand all the possible consequences and that the net effects will be beneficial. This is never the case, as there will always be unforeseen consequences, and what may be beneficial to some will always be detrimental to someone else. “Good” and “bad” are always judgments made after the fact, and are dependent on the judge’s point of view.

  36. 1) A scheme to geo-engineer with aerosols if (and only if) catastrophic AGW happens has the immense advantage that there’s absolutely no sign of catastrophic AGW happening. Emergency plans to emergency situations are rational; expensive mitigation schemes that probably *won’t* work to prevent an emergency unlikely to happen in the first place is a much worse policy choice.

    2) As geo-engineering schemes go, adding aerosols seems much, much safer than trying to suck CO2 out of the atmosphere. Remove too much CO2 and there really would be catastrophic man-made climate change.

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