Politics

The ethics of geoengineering

Nothing sexier than debates over ethics!

I forget where I found this, but there’s a good piece on Environmental Research Web about the moral aspects of geoengineering. The author, UW prof Steve Gardiner, raises several concerns, but for my money, this is the most telling: It is not silly to think that substantial investment in geoengineering will itself encourage political inertia on mitigation and adaptation, and also facilitate the actual deployment of geoengineering “solutions”. In short, Crutzen treats the decision to do research and the decision to deploy as if they were causally isolated. But it is not clear what justifies this assumption — indeed, the …

The Onion

Still funny.

Conspiracy uncovered!

Letter to the editor from Arkansas

This is the text of a letter to the editor printed in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on April 16 of this year: You may have noticed that March of this year was particularly hot. As a matter of fact, I understand that it was the hottest March since the beginning of the last century. All of the trees were fully leafed out and legions of bugs and snakes were crawling around during a time in Arkansas when, on a normal year, we might see a snowflake or two. This should come as no surprise to any reasonable person. As you know, Daylight Saving Time started almost a month early this year. You would think that members of Congress would have considered the warming effect that an extra hour of daylight would have on our climate. Or did they? Perhaps this is another plot by a liberal Congress to make us believe that global warming is a real threat. Perhaps next time there should be serious studies performed before Congress passes laws with such far-reaching effects. Connie M. Meskimen Hot Springs

Who said it?

A belated Earth Day quiz

Can you guess? 1. "In 1971, I participated in the second Earth Day and became the coordinator of an interdisciplinary Environmental Studies program at West Georgia College." Find out here. 2. On the occasion of the first Earth Day: "[there is an] absolute necessity of waging all-out war against the debauching of the environment." Find out here. 3. "Our nation has both an obligation and self-interest in facing, head-on, the serious environmental, economic and national security threat posed by global warming." Find out here. 4. "We simply must do everything we can in our power to slow down global warming before it is too late. The science is clear. The global warming debate is over." Find out here. Lesson: Stewardship is a value that should always transcend party politics.

Look At Me, I’m Cassandra Dee

McCain comes out singing on global warming and energy Karl Rove might think global warming is the province of shrill Hollywood harpies, but John McCain knows better. In a speech Monday ahead of his expected entry into the presidential race tomorrow, the Arizona senator termed global warming “a serious and urgent economic, environmental, and national-security challenge” and said that the issue “isn’t a Hollywood invention, nor is doing something about it a vanity of Cassandra-like hysterics.” (We now pause so you can roll that delicious phrase around on your tongue, because some underpaid speechwriter spent a long time on it.) …

McCain's big speech on energy and climate

A mixed bag

John McCain gave a major speech today in which he said that energy dependence and global warming are major threats to America’s future that urgently need to be addressed. The policy section started off with this great bit: Energy efficiency by using improved technology and practicing sensible habits in our homes, businesses and automobiles is a big part of the answer, and is something we can achieve right now. And new advances will make conservation an ever more important part of the solution. Improved light bulbs can use much less energy; smart grid technology can help homeowners and businesses lower …

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