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David Roberts

David Roberts

Posted: January 30, 2007 02:42 PM

Space Mirrors! [Cue Disco Music]


grist.org

The IPCC sent an early draft of its latest report on global warming to various world governments, seeking comment. The U.S. response (PDF) should surprise no one: it sought to push the IPCC in a favorable ideological direction. That means downplaying the negative effects of warming, bashing Kyoto, lauding the vaporous benefits of voluntary agreements, and -- brace yourself -- hyping the possibility of giant space mirrors. Yeah, really.

This is a species of "geoengineering," sold as a "last ditch" response to global warming. Take note, however, that it's being sold as such by a country that hasn't tried any of the thousands of first ditch responses. The IPCC has, wisely in my view, judged such ideas "speculative, uncosted and with potential unknown side-effects." But the U.S. ruling elite never saw a massive techno-project it didn't like -- anything to avoid changing basic power structures.

I know many people, including my esteemed colleague Jamais Cascio, put great stock in geoengineering -- or at least its promise. Suffice to say, I don't. Someday I'll write something more extensive on why.

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