Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Stop The World And Melt With You

One interesting twist in the global warming debate is, for all that we've heard that the "science is indisputable", we've heard very little about the engineering. As far as I know, until the public debate over global warming, there was never any serious consideration to the idea that the earth's overall climate patterns were a plausible object for engineering to our specifications.

But of course that's exactly what most of the anti-global warming agenda is. Through cap-and-trade, Kyoto, carbon taxes, or something else, the proposition is that we have reasonably direct control over the trajectory of the climate. I have grave doubts about this, and largely for that reason I oppose cap-and-trade and all the rest.

Having said that, there is such a thing as geo-engineering, which is usually taken to describe less drastic measures to affect the climate in ways that we supposedly prefer. Most of this discussion tends to take place on the Right, like today's piece by Reihan, as an end-run around draconian controls over the economy. I have no idea whether any of it is going to work, though I hope that it does. However, I'd much prefer to see it come from the other team. If they want to stop global warming, here's their chance. The other team could actually spend their energy on something useful for a change.

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