Global Warming: Protect Climate by Shielding Earth? United Nations Group Discusses 'Geoengineering'

Share
Copy

Climate Change: Protecting Earth With Smoke and Mirrors

"The climate is a complex system," said Silvia Ribeiro, an organizer of the petition, in an accompanying statement. "Manipulating climate in one place could have grave environmental, social and economic impacts on countries and peoples that had no say on the issue. Scientists estimate that blasting particles into the stratosphere could alter monsoon and wind patterns and put at risk the food and water sources for two billion people."

The petitioners cited the eruption of the Puyehue volcano in Chile this month. Like Pinatubo, it may have a cooling effect -- but they said it also disrupted air travel for thousands of miles around it.

"If we could experiment with the atmosphere and literally play God, it's very tempting to a scientist," said Richard Odingo, a Kenyan earth scientist who attended a meeting on geoengineering in April. "But I worry."

Nothing is going to happen soon; most scientists agree none of the ideas proposed so far are yet possible. But people don't even know very much about them, which is why Princeton's Oppenheimer says a conference on geoengineering isn't such a bad idea.

"I never want to see it used," he said, "but I think we should be talking about it."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Firefighters rescue a woman who got stuck in a chimney in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Ventura County Fire Department
PHOTO: Defendant Jodi Arias testifies about killing Travis Alexander in 2008 during her murder trial in Phoenix, Feb. 20, 2013.
Charlie Leight/The Arizona Republic/AP Photo
PHOTO: Up in Ash: Mount Sinabung Erupting
Tibt Nangin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
PHOTO: Attendees gather during an Apple special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts, Sept. 9, 2014 in Cupertino, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images