Obama looks at climate engineering
The president’s new science adviser said Wednesday that global warming is so dire, the Obama administration is discussing radical technologies to cool Earth’s air. John Holdren told The Associated Press in his first interview since being confirmed last month that the idea of geoengineering the climate is being discussed.
One such extreme option includes shooting pollution particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun’s rays. Holdren said such an experimental measure would only be used as a last resort.
“It’s got to be looked at,” he said. “We don’t have the luxury of taking any approach off the table.”
I have seen several comments to this article suggesting that Space Solar Power would be a far cheaper solution. I have to agree. Also Space Solar Power would be far safer. Once you put stuff into the atmosphere it is hard to get it back.
If the government is so worried about global warming that they are even considering climate engineering then the government should be funding development and construction of Solar Power Satellites and lunar construction facilities for Solar Power Satellites. Regardless of the business case or cost of the power since Space Solar Power would have a lower net cost (cost of construction and operation minus profit from power sold) and would be far safer than climate engineering.
The US could easily significantly reduce world wide carbon emissions if we beamed low cost carbon free power to the entire globe. We have the technology. The only question is do we have the will?
I like the topic except it's a false dichotomy as it stands. I believe we need both of these and they don't compete. Terra's longterm carrying capacity might amount to half a billion humans; it's pushing 7 billion humans. Somehow or other, that's going to change; and space offers options both for change and for our species survival if thru some accident we lose Terra.
Space solar power is nonpolluting and comes with option to size it to immensity nearly unimaginable today. Thinking of climate engineering, I recall the Moties who reconstructed their ships at need in flight: we aren't Moties and I feel insecure to even think of re-engineering our climate as it runs. Given space solar power then we can lower the stake on the local climate re-engineering, and so these two are not competitors, they are synergistically complementary and we need them both.
Titeotwawki — Martha Adams 2009 Apr 22
a false dilemma perhaps but what if…
Climate engineering seems like a scary topic and Space solar power can easily be taken advantage of just like our usage of oil. They are synergistically complementary and we do need them both but there has to be some sort of equilibrium calculated before development can occur. It is so hard too find a balance but it can be done.