In the battle against global warming, we've got at least a two pronged attack. One, get energy users to change their habits, and good luck with that. The other avenue is to find scientific answers to fix the planet/weather/atmosphere. Pretty scary stuff, that. Like this article (h/t Carolyn Kay via Blah3) which indicates that if we're willing to spend the money on a global Dyson world-wide carbon dioxide vacuum cleaner, we can even get the old Soviet baseboards to pass the white glove test.
And more to the point, this article from Wilson Quarterly specifically outlining the scientific and moral debate regarding actually changing the weather. It's long, but worth the read. And memo to the Wilson guys, more content on the web equals more attention. So much of your journal is eminently bloggable, but not if I can't give you linky to the original. Just saying.
The talking points from this article are (a) should we be "playing God" (don't get me started) trying to change the weather with technology and (b) since pretty much the only people willing to pay for this kind of research is the Pentagon, aren't we really just talking about a weapon rather than a solution? (and let's get really messy and add to the discussion the internet, and how much we bloggers all owe to military investment in communication technology, while we're at it.)
This from WQ:
Operation POPEYE, made public as it was at the end of the Nixon era, was dubbed the "Watergate of weather warfare." Some defended the use of environmental weapons, arguing that they were more "humane" than nuclear weapons. Others suggested that inducing rainfall to reduce trafficability was preferable to dropping napalm. As one wag put it, "Make mud, not war." At a congressional briefing in 1974, military officials downplayed the impact of Operation POPEYE, since the most that could be claimed were 10 percent increases in local rainfall, and even that result was "unverifiable." Philip Handler, president of the National Academy of Sciences, represented the mainstream of scientific opinion when he observed, "It is grotesquely immoral that scientific understanding and technological capabilities developed for human welfare to protect the public health, enhance agricultural productivity, and minimize the natural violence of large storms should be so distorted as to become weapons of war."
Think about what if Katrina was a weapon you could direct at somebody. What if? And do you think there aren't guys at the Pentagon thinking about that kind of weapon, which destroys and kills and leaves only water to clean up after? (And oh yeah, dead bodies and mold, but hey, "risk factors to post-detonation clean-up personnel are minimal.") Really.
But in the back of our universal consciousness is a hope that some scientist will fix this global warming problem so we can just crank up our I-Tunes on the way to work and not have to think about changing anything we're doing.
By the way, bloggers, we are making a God out of technology? HA.
[big props to DWS for refusing to pay attention to space alien spiders.]