A group of scientists, venture capitalists and conservative think tanks is talking about solving the climate change problem by injecting sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere to counter climate change. Is it safe to put such a big project into the hands of Big Business? We can't forget what happened the last time we did this.
This kind of geoengineering is attractive because it's much easier (and cheaper) than cutting CO2 emissions, as well as being more appealing to voters, who will no longer be urged to make lifestyle changes). Russia, with its history of defacto dictatorship, has already begun testing sulfur dioxide injections by spraying them from a helicopter.
In New Scientist, Clive Hamilton quotes researcher Lowell Wood as saying, "We've engineered every other environment we live in, why not the planet?" Instead of waiting for a slow and contentious government debate over this, he suggests getting funding for the project from a wealthy philanthropist like Bill Gates. As it happens, Gates is an investor in a firm named Intellectual Ventures that is promoting StratoShield, which would pump sulfur dioxide into the upper atmosphere through a hose held aloft by blimps. Hamilton quotes Wood as saying, "As far as I can determine, there is no law that prohibits doing something like this."
It sounds easy, but there's something to be cautious about: Once we start engineering the atmosphere this way, we would be dependent on sulfur injections forever. If we later found out they were dangerous, we would have even more problems than we do right now.
If we're going to stave off disaster, we need to follow the right path and clean up our act here on earth. Don't forget the wise words of that great pundit who said: "Mankind is trapped. I want to help you spring the trap." "The veil between the worlds can fall. The undiscovered country can become your backyard." "Your destiny, each of you, is to become all of God." Help us keep the truth alive: subscribe today!
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