On a more or less regular basis, some wild-eyed enthusiast in a lab coat will get his name – and by my account, they’ve all been men, the reasons for which will become evident as we proceed – in the media by proposing some massively destructive campaign of crapping all over the global environment in order to “save” it from AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming). In order to make such a deliberately manufactured catastrophe sound respectable, it is given a fancified, multi-syllabic name: geoengineering. According to these well-paid (male) lab-coats, the way to make things better is to make them unimaginably – and, most terrifyingly – unpredictably, worse. One is reminded of the enthusiastic, lower-level Air Force PR officer who effused to the press how it was necessary to destroy some particular Vietnamese village in order to “save” it. These days this isn’t even recognized as ironic. One is also reminded of the nursery rhyme about the Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly. But getting people to recognize an obvious analogy is almost as distressed a program as getting them to notice irony.
Now, everyone who isn’t intransigently stupid, viciously dishonest, or some combination of both, has long since recognized the reality of AGW. Gee golly willikers, it was cold in some places in North America this Winter. Well, given that we’re talking about less than 1.84% of the entire surface of the Earth, a person might feel justified in asking if there might just possibly be a difference between GLOBAL warming and “your backyard” warming? Or again, the fact that the destabilization of the winter jetstream that leads to the “polar vortex” is itself a consequence of global warming, as unparalleled warmth moves into the Arctic and pushes relatively cold air South, is not one of those arcane secrets that gets hidden away in books, so that the denialists will never find it. So, the question is: What do we do about it? Continue reading