The IPCC sent an early draft of its latest report 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. I keep promising to write something more extensive about it, and, uh … yeah, I still promise.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free.