DailyDirt: Geoengineering Could Have Its Own Unintended Consequences

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

If you haven't noticed, there's a climate change conference going on that could have an impact on global commerce and... possibly the global climate, if you believe we puny humans can actually change the climate. Even if you don't think climate change is a real problem, it shouldn't hurt to explore more energy technologies or environmental remediation techniques, right? (Well, unless we get ourselves into a Snowpiercer situation.) After you've finished checking out those links, check out this holiday gift guide for some awesome deals at the Techdirt deals store.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: bill gates, biomass, carbon cycle, carbon dioxide, clean energy, climate change, co2, energy, geoengineering, iron sulfate, mark zuckerberg, mount pinatubo, phytoplankton, russ george


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2015 @ 5:26pm

    more natural volcanoes!?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 1 Dec 2015 @ 6:13pm

    If It Weren’t For Climate Change, The Human Race Woudln’t Exist

    Our species is the product of a changing climate. And we have been having our own effect on it since we began cutting down trees for agriculture and dwelling space, thousands of years ago.

    Time to admit that climate change is not something to be afraid of.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 1 Dec 2015 @ 9:03pm

      Re: If It Weren’t For Climate Change, The Human Race Woudln’t Exist

      That's the biggest problem with Climate Change - many of the (most vocal) scientists are portraying this as all Doom-And-Gloom. They yammer incessantly about how this will lead to the extinction of mankind and everything on Earth. It's the same hysterical nonsense we heard about Y2K. If they want to be taken seriously, they need to be more realistic about the impact climate change will have.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Rekrul, 1 Dec 2015 @ 11:50pm

        Re: Re: If It Weren’t For Climate Change, The Human Race Woudln’t Exist

        At the rate the temperature is rising, some scientists are predicting a 4 degree increase by the end of the century. What's that you say, 4 degrees is nothing to worry about? Don't forget that's Celsius. In Fahrenheit that translates to just short of 40 degrees.

        How well do you think the human race will fair when the temperature is 60-80 degrees in the winter and 120-130 in the summer? What effect will it have on the plant and animal life?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 12:53am

          Re: Re: Re: If It Weren’t For Climate Change, The Human Race Woudln’t Exist

          "At the rate the temperature is rising..." this is bullshit.
          now if you want to listen to science, here it is:
          http://www.mediatheque.lindau-nobel.org/videos/34729/ivar-giaever-global-warming-revisited/laurea te-giaever

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Morgan Wick (profile), 2 Dec 2015 @ 3:52am

          Re: Re: Re: If It Weren’t For Climate Change, The Human Race Woudln’t Exist

          I can't tell if you're clueless but earnest or making fun of climate activists, but it looks like you plugged "4 degrees Celsius" into Google and copy-pasted whatever you got. What you really want is to convert two different Celsius temperatures 4 degrees apart and take the difference between the Fahrenheit equivalents. Then you'd get a Fahrenheit temperature rise of 7.2.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          jim, 2 Dec 2015 @ 6:31am

          Re: Re: Re: If It Weren’t For Climate Change, The Human Race Woudln’t Exist

          Been there, done that, got the tee shirt. So many things wrong on your supposition.
          We live on a planet, amongst other planets, near a gas ball. We would not survive without that gas ball. If that gas ball varies in temperature, it is called a variable star. Guess what? It is called our sun, it is in a class called a variable star. Why?
          Our planet circles that star in an Ovid orbit. Not a circle, putting us closer and further away at certain times of the year. Because there are other planets around the sun, they change the baricenter of the sun, its, not perfectly round. Generally shaped towards the heavier planets. That changes the heating patterns of the output.
          The earth, rotates, like a top, not always in a pattern for the heating and cooling of its surfaces. Sometimes the surface is hotter, or cooler then normal or ideal. Sometimes there are clouds that reflect the energy back to space, sometimes it's clear and the heat gain/loss are extreme. And there are other factors that increase the chaos in the system.
          But pollution is bad. That changes the whole setup. Man arose on this planet, has learned to tame it for his use, but, if he doesn't learn how to ameliate pollution, he will die on this planet. Alone and poisoned by someone's greed.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          DNY (profile), 2 Dec 2015 @ 2:30pm

          Re: Re: Re: If It Weren’t For Climate Change, The Human Race Woudln’t Exist

          No, 4 degrees Celsius translates to 4*9/5 = 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course with the precision climate models have shown over the last 18 years when compared with observation, I guess 7.2 is "just short of 40".

          Other scientists are telling us to prepare for a little ice age by 2030, and their models work correctly on much longer time-scales than the general-circulation models that are used to support the notion of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 12:57am

        Re: Re: If It Weren’t For Climate Change, The Human Race Woudln’t Exist

        "many of the (most vocal) scientists are portraying this as all Doom-And-Gloom"
        Al-Gore is not a scientist, he is a crony businessman tribe prince,
        and his paid scientists turn into prostitutes the second they throw away the scientific method and go into the consensus religion

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 6:05am

        Re: Re: If It Weren’t For Climate Change, The Human Race Woudln’t Exist

        It's the same hysterical nonsense we heard about Y2K.
        A lot of programmers worked hard (some pulled out of retirement etc.) to fix potential Y2K problems. Are you suggesting we do the same to avert climate change? (And if there are respectable scientists claiming it will cause the extinction of human life, please provide a citation. That does not seem to be a mainstream view.)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Mason Wheeler (profile), 2 Dec 2015 @ 7:36am

          Re: Re: Re: If It Weren’t For Climate Change, The Human Race Woudln’t Exist

          Thank you! That's the thing too many people never seem to get about Y2K: the only reason it didn't happen the way the alarmists warned is because we did a huge amount of work to make it not happen! Why do so many people not get this?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 9:42am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: If It Weren’t For Climate Change, The Human Race Woudln’t Exist

            The Y2K alarmism may have been overblown. It's hard to tell—the general public didn't really need to hear such dire warnings, except that maybe the businesspeople wouldn't have done anything if they didn't hear it on the news. Some of the predictions made it sound like the world would end (and reports of people building Y2K bunkers didn't help). Nobody knowledgeable was saying it, but news reporters like to find the "interesting"/controversial people (as they do with climate change).

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            JoeCool (profile), 2 Dec 2015 @ 10:47am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: If It Weren’t For Climate Change, The Human Race Woudln’t Exist

            Totally wrong. While the US and a few other countries spent billions on Y2K, most of the world did NOTHING WHATSOEVER and had nothing of consequence happen. Most of the Y2K predictions were ASININE and couldn't happen in the first place. Planes dropping from the sky? You REALLY believe that such a thing could happen from an incorrect year date? I'm an engineer and I got a HUGE laugh over 99% of the predictions. Toasters burning down houses, trains derailing, planes falling from the skies, elevators plunging to the bottom of their shafts... those were only a little of the nonsense that corporate America bought into, spending billions on hokum. Engineers for the companies tried to enlighten their PHBs, but in the end, ignorance ruled while unscrupulous software houses made money hand over fist "fixing" non-existent problems, then made grandiose claims of "saving the world" after nothing happened. Anyone claiming different is either not an engineer, or was part of the scam.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 12:40am

      Re: If It Weren’t For Climate Change, The Human Race Woudln’t Exist

      this talks are about world government,
      taxing people to do anything
      and regulate every aspect of human life
      it is called "sustainable"
      if you read their scary report you will find out you are going to be a VERY micromanaged slave

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 8:06am

      Re: If It Weren’t For Climate Change, The Human Race Woudln’t Exist

      Well you shouldn't be afraid of if it was normal climate change. Humans have only kicked it into high gear and it is moving faster than what nature was intended to handle. Sure, life will survive. The question is whether that includes humans.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mason Wheeler (profile), 2 Dec 2015 @ 8:12am

      Re: If It Weren’t For Climate Change, The Human Race Woudln’t Exist

      Come on, guys, quit feeding the trolls. It's not like there was much room for reasonable doubt before, but with the recent revelations about Exxon, there's no longer any room whatsoever. Anyone still denying the reality of anthropogenic climate change is either flat-out lying or has been deceived by people who were flat-out lying. Either way, at this point trying to set them straight is kinda pointless.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 1 Dec 2015 @ 7:23pm

    I have to commend Russ George. If he had waited to get approval from a government the sun would have become a red giant by the time they gave the ok. I hope it can be done again.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Alien Rebel (profile), 1 Dec 2015 @ 8:17pm

    Puny Humans

    Bacteria are pretty damned small, too, compared to the petri dishes in which they live, overpopulate, and ultimately die in.

    Anyhow, let me point out something really stupid that caught my attention in the Volcanoes article; as in, I-have-to-lay-down-now, this-is-too-F'ing-STUPID--

    Nathan Myhrvold's comment:
    “. . the world has done nothing for climate change, nothing. And it’s very hard to see very much happening going forward”

    So says the man behind Intellectual Ventures LLC, the patent troll attacking wind energy producers, who's been working hard to make sure nothing gets done going forward.*

    *techdirt, August 14, 2014. Intellectual Ventures Aims To Tax Wind Power Producers With New Batch Of Patents

    ---

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2015 @ 10:43pm

    Plankton is already coming to the rescue!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2015 @ 10:58pm

    watch out of your window, check your photos in the park...
    do you see a perfectly squared matrix of oily milky clouds?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 2 Dec 2015 @ 12:04am

    Fake Volcanos...

    The dinosaurs already tried that trick to fix the weather. It didn't work out so well for Earl and the gang. ;)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CT4Oq0utl4c

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 12:45am

    earth temperature
    is only dependent on radiation coming from the sun and the moon`s shadow getting in the middle plus the hot soup inner core, that is science, astrophysics and chemistry.
    everything else is bullshit,
    climate change is a world order religion,
    read the club of rome guys, they can explain it to you

    each time they sustainable it is THEIR DEFINITION of sustainable, ask for it
    you having freedoms? no, not sustainable

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 12:50am

    when we were kids
    the ones trying to change the weather or to spy the whole planet were evil crazy powertripping james bond villains, depicted as successful russian businessmen...

    but today...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 1:16am

    unproductive slave existing? not sustainable (useless eaters)
    slave inhaling air and exhaling co2 near the woods? not sustainable
    slave burning anything? not sustainable
    slave drinking water? not sustainable (bpa bottled water is ok)
    slave saving rain water? not sustainable
    slave taking natural water from the pond? not sustainable
    slave living free and alone in the woods outside the GREEN economy? not sustainable
    slave living outside a micromanaged psyco city? not sustainable
    slave eating meat? not sustainable (tribe hunting polar bears and elephants is ok)
    slave driving a car? not sustainable (tribe`s 6 liter w12 A8L is ok)
    humans reproducing by their own volition? not sustainable
    slave leisure travel by train/airplane/car/etc? not sustainable (tribe flying single in G6 with tons of drugs is ok)
    camping on the beach? not sustainable
    walking through a natural park? not sustainable (ounce in a lifetime is ok)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 1:27am

    I wonder if there is information online listing the carbon and water "footprints" of this COP21 world order party.
    of the hundreds of airplanes, A8L Audis, good chateaubriand and wine, ...
    cannot find it so far,
    they can always print carbon credits to magically cancel it out...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    orbitalinsertion (profile), 2 Dec 2015 @ 4:41am

    Predictably hilarious.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Dec 2015 @ 9:00am

    Here is my take on global warming.

    Is the planet warming? Yes, it probably is. Is man contributing to that? Yes, we probably are.

    What should be done about it? My opinion? Not much. I don't like the cold. I am glad that my area will warm up a bit. Will the ocean's rise? Probably, sucks for you if you have to move, but maybe we shouldn't have been living and building there anyway.

    Should the US reduce it's carbon footprint? Yes, but not at the cost today, if my gas is cheap, I will drive. I like the idea of getting off oil, not because of warming, but because of the people who produce the oil. Screw them if we can, but not at the loss of cheap fuel.

    Are people serious about the risks of climate change? I doubt it, if so, why is NYC spending $4 Billion to upgrade LaGuardia Airport? It sits on the water. Are they putting in really big drains? Miami and NYC are building like crazy, do they believe the ocean will rise? I guess not.

    Send my tax dollars to 3rd world nations to get them off greenhouse gas use? Hahaha, we know how that will work out.

    So in the end, we should just go with the flow, learn to adapt and live our lives the best way we know.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mason Wheeler (profile), 2 Dec 2015 @ 10:17am

      Re:

      ...and this is why things continue to get worse.

      I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that. I wish I had more years left.
      -- Thomas Edison

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 2 Dec 2015 @ 10:29am

    I'm a bit surprised no one seems to be particularly horrified by the "fake volcano" idea.

    When something heavier than air is up in the air, it tends to fall back down. When acid falls from the sky, they call that acid rain, and it can do serious damage to both people and property. And sulfuric acid is very scary stuff: it can do this to basic organic matter. (You know, the stuff our bodies are made of.) Anyone who advocates making that fall from the sky needs to have their head examined. Global warming is a serious problem that needs serious solutions, but I'd hardly say this qualifies as one!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 2 Dec 2015 @ 10:59am

      Re:

      Yes, it's definitely something to worry about. It seems that many of the proposals on how to deal with the issue are worse than the problems they are supposed to correct. That's what comes from making crazy claims about what climate change will do - you get crazy politicians who "need to be seen doing something" and crazy activists coming up with crazy plans that will do more harm than good. Keep the claims reasonable and not absolute worst case and maybe the crazies won't kill us with crazy plans to save us.

      Sorry about the number of uses of the word crazy. :)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Personanongrata, 2 Dec 2015 @ 10:58am

    Get a Clue

    Phytoplankton could evolve to sequester carbon dioxide, absorbing as much CO2 as tropical rainforests do. Or someone could artificially engineer these microscopic organisms to convert CO2 into biomass, but it's still unclear what effect it might have on the carbon cycle. [url]

    News flash.... hot off the wire.... Phytoplankton already absorb CO2 during the chemical process known as photosynthesis.

    Phytoplankton are responsible for roughly half of all photosynthesis occurring on Earth at this time and thus create a tremendous amount of CO2 generated biomass that is sequestered naturally in the oceans.

    Earth's oceans are one giant CO2 sink.



    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phytoplankton

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthesis

    Scientists never speak in absolutes.

    Absolutes are the realm of true-believers.

    If you do not know how many layers comprise Earth's atmosphere or their corresponding names or the types of gases present or that Phytoplankton perform photosynthesis and absorb CO2 or that Earth's oceans already act as CO2 sink with out an internet search perhaps you shouldn't be writing about Earth's climate.

    You haven't a clue as to what you are typing about.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Close

Add A Reply

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.