Cutting emissions won't stop warming

Letter to the editor

Posted: Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The global warming debate is an example of sloppy scientific analysis on one hand and tunnel vision and complacency on the other. Furthermore, both sides use half-truths and cultivate intellectual prostitution by scientists. Here's other reasoning about the issue.

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It's scientifically dishonest to assert that we would successfully address global warming by just reducing the creation of new greenhouse gases from fossil fuel use. Reductions of new emissions can't possibly affect the consequences of existing planetary greenhouse gas levels that are allegedly driving global warming instead of amplifying it. Common sense or simple mathematics demonstrates this. This makes the Kyoto Global Emissions accords seem like shoveling dirt to plug a runaway dike breach on a rising Mississippi River.

But human beings have a practical need to be competent stewards of our planet, if only to create the quality of life on it they dream of. Hence, we should act simply because self-evident planetary warming might mess with our comfort. Furthermore, the excuse, "Let's do nothing because that's how things are," is proven to be anti-happiness and anti-survival by all history.

Therefore, consider these scientific statements. Since creation, sun radiation, photosynthesis-based life, water and volcanic emissions are the primary influences over atmospheric composition. Heat from the sun is the primary influence on Earth's surface temperatures. Consequently, I suggest:

1. Humanity goes on a "Johnny Appleseed" type crusade to rapidly expand photosynthesis-based life. The more such life exists, the more the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide gets used up.

2. Earth's northern hemisphere cooperates to place a huge sun-shield in a stationary orbit to shade the high Arctic from the sun. The sun shield shall consist of photo-electric-powered panels. These can be closed to lower average temperatures by calculated shading of the polar area, or opened to let ordinary sun radiation through.

Such technologically possible measures would start reversing Earth's warming trend within a decade - no matter what's really causing it. They would also give humanity time to work out cheaper and better energy solutions. I mean real solutions - ones that can practically tempt even the most selfish of humanity from unreasonable dependence on fossil fuels. Remember. For most humans, personal self-interest talks; unrewarded altruism walks.

A problem can't be a problem unless those immersed in it avoid or refuse looking at its ingredients. Are you willing to look?

Stuart Thompson


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