24 May 2008

Our Own Big Bang

I can solve global warming, by the way. It’s easy, and actually gets us two for the price of one.

Remember Nuclear Winter?

Why not explode a variety of nuclear weapons somewhere near the Antarctic, which is about as far from as many ecosystems as you can get. I know, penguins and other creatures are down there, but as a percentage of both particular species and species in general, not so many.

Yes, it will melt some stuff from the initial heat, but if they are focused over the land mass not the ocean, which is also furthest from the animals as well, you will get the best value for the effort: lots of dust in the air, not as much water, fewer animals. And since the area is not part of any sovereign entity, the politics of it is easy.

The result is what Carl Sagan and friends predicted over twenty years ago when we were all frantic about nuclear war – lots of particulates in the upper atmosphere to block sunlight. That will lower the temps for a long while, counteracting global warming. It’s not a long term solution, but it would buy time to come up with alternatives to fossil fuels.

Yes, it will be hard to calculate in advance. Too few and the effort will be a waste. Too many and we provoke an ice age. And the radiation thing, well who really knows about that? But if we do it we also get rid of a bunch of nukes that are lying around just begging for someone to put them to personal use.

Yes, I am being facetious, but only half way. The science is undeniable. When Mt Pinatubo erupted about twenty years ago the global temp sank for a year. That’s just one volcano too. Imagine the equivalent of a dozen eruptions, even more. That’ll put a little frost on the global pumpkin.

Unrealistic? Well, the real answer to global warming is to stop burning oil and coal. How’s that for unrealistic? Really, think about it. It’s like all those Armageddon movies a few years ago. Imagine Bruce Willis down in the Antarctic setting up the bombs, Morgan Freeman calming the country and the globe from the White House? We’ve done the dry runs in our imagination. If there ever was a time….

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