Obama looks at climate engineering
WASHINGTON (AP) - 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.”
Holdren outlined several “tipping points” involving global warming that could be fast approaching. Once such milestones are reached, such as complete loss of summer sea ice in the Arctic, it increases chances of “really intolerable consequences,” he said.
Twice in a half-hour interview, Holdren compared global warming to being “in a car with bad brakes driving toward a cliff in the fog.”
At first, Holdren characterized the potential need to technologically tinker with the climate as just his personal view. However, he went on to say he has raised it in administration discussions.
Holdren, a 65-year-old physicist, is far from alone in taking geoengineering more seriously. The National Academy of Science is making climate tinkering the subject of its first workshop in its new multidiscipline climate challenges program. The British parliament has also discussed the idea.
I guess it finally dawned on them that the entire population of the First World isn’t going to change its carbon-rich habits, so now they want to play with Earth’s thermostat directly. Swell.
Can you say h-u-b-r-i-s?