Re: Breaking News: World is 10 deg chillier

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Thu Jan 25 2001 - 17:34:54 MST

Michael Lorrey <> writes:

> Anders Sandberg wrote:
> > According to Martyn Fogg's
> > _Terraforming_ it is likely technically feasible in the near future to
> > launch enough dust into the stratosphere to induce a multi-degree
> > cooling. So what do I do when the Netherlands decide to lower the mean
> > temperature and I want to raise it?
> Why, you burn, and they sequester. Now, if your burning and
> externalization of wastes causes them damage, they rightly have a case
> to pursue compensation.

OK, makes sense to me. Climate as an economic tug-o-war.

> The fact is that there are proposals to seed the
> oceans with iron to stimulate plankton blooms which seems to be the most
> effective way to sequester the huge amounts of carbon that some claim we
> need to get rid of. Such proposals are being ignored by global warming
> proponents, so it seems to me that they really don't have an interest in
> solving the problem.

As I mentioned above, I'm reading the terraforming book which has some
older data on this. I also read the review of the issue in last week's
nature (Earth systems engineering and management by Stephen
H. Schneider, Nature Vol 409, 18 January 2001). Schneider gives some
reasons geoengineering has not been pursued in recent climate debate;
I think most of them are wrong on one level or another but
geoengineering doesn't seem to have been deliberately ignored. Rather,
it has been seen as too risky, distracting from anti-pollution
initiatives, possibly unethical and not possible to implement due to
unreliable governance. Beside the purely practical points efforts like
this runs into the divide between what Fogg calls the ecocentric and
technocentric approaches to planetary management; in addition both
approaches often fall into the pitfall of outdoing each other in
centralist technocracy. I think we can do much better in our own
environmental thinking.

I disagree with your view that greens dislike geoengineering because
it would leave them without anything to complain of and enlarged
environment programs would benefit them. If you actually discuss with
them you realise they think it is morally wrong, infeasible or too
dangerous. The same with most people against breeder reactors - they
are simply afraid of the evil nuclear power or the links to weapons
production. We might disagree with these sentiments, but assuming your
opponents doesn't even believe their own arguments is a dangerous kind
of underestimation. A bit of self-serving thinking is of course always
present, but assuming this is the main source of passion of most of
one's opponents is a mistake.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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