Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The more dioxide the better

Powerline's "Hindrocket" is wading through the Univ of East Anglia Climate Research Unit file dump. He highlights an interesting sequence where various scientists are informally discussing why the predicted increase in global temperatures has not been observed in recent years. One discussant raises the possibility that it's because China and India are producing so much sulphur dioxide from their industries that the resulting cooling effect of all that stuff in the atmosphere is offsetting the warming from carbon dioxide. He goes on to propose, seemingly sarcastically, that we should be encouraging pumping of even more of the stuff into the atmosphere for precisely this reason. Of course to Hindrocket, this is merely a glorious free lunch: by letting China and India pollute all they want, we wouldn't need to anything about global warming.

A couple of points. First, the e-mails complain that there's no data on China and India sulphur dioxide emissions that would help verify the cooling hypothesis. Scientists like having data before making radical proposals. Second, there's the link to the Superfreakonomics idea that caused so much controversy -- the geo-engineering plan hyped in the book to directly pump SO2 into atmosphere and achieve global cooling by design. Although the advantage of their plan was cheapness, it appears they missed the freest lunch of all -- the status quo! It's amazing that the Earth seems to feature of a form of "intelligent design" if you will, allowing us to scale up all our forms of pollution in proportion and carry on as before.

Except for the acid rain, diminishing sunlight, polluted oceans, and increasingly dioxified air. Though it would probably set the stage for a resurgence of Impressionist art.

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