Posted by | October 5, 2011 09:25 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

With the solutions to climate change that are most practical and most likely to be successful (a carbon tax or a cap and trade system) off the table, speculation about less practical solutions is increasing.  A bipartisan panel recommended funding of research of geoengineering, means of altering the earth’s climate if it gets warm enough to cause widespread devastation.

Members said they hoped that such extreme engineering techniques, which include scattering particles in the air to mimic the cooling effect of volcanoes or stationing orbiting mirrors in space to reflect sunlight, would never be needed. But in its report, to be released on Tuesday, the panel said it is time to begin researching and testing such ideas in case “the climate system reaches a ‘tipping point’ and swift remedial action is required.”

Most of these ideas sound like quackery and potentially as dangerous as the problem they are trying to solve.  But since we have put our collective heads in the sand about climate change, we could reach the point where giant mirrors in space could become our best option.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.