Friday, April 10, 2009

Interfering with Nature, or Cleaning up our Mess?

To cool the atmosphere and get the global temperature's runaway heating under some form of control (and I don't like that word... control... but in this case, possibly make an exception), the Obama Administration is reconsidering a formerly dismissed ideas of Geo-engineering, which will involve air-cooling techniques.

Now I'm going to have to parallel this with the argument on the film, Jurassic Park. When discussing what we were capable of involving resurrecting a long extinct species from oblivion, the scientist marveled over what the could do, while Goldblum's chaos theorist character said they're too busy celebrating doing what they could without arguing whether they should. Control over the earth's atmosphere?

And yet... this isn't to take control, nor would we be that powerful to do so. Chaos guy argued that the dinosaurs were naturally chosen for extinction... eh, probably from a meteor. I already argued about this once upon a time about evolution choosing naturally and tragedies like the meteor choosing freakishly. We'd have no qualms shooting a meteor bound for earth to save ourselves and all. Evolution didn't kill the dinosaurs, we're pretty sure. But anyway, the argument, I think, is the fact that global warming, though irrefutably real at this point, was going to be a naturally occurring thing anyway. So should we interfere? But the dinosaurs weren't our doing, and the level of extreme warming we're causing now, is. If we can make it right, I see no reason not to. I'd try to save the life of a dog I hit on the freeway. So if we have a chance to reverse this, let's.

Then I read the article and realize it involves shooting pollution into the atmosphere. And now I'm not thinking of Jurassic Park. Now I'm thinking of The Matrix, or more accurately, the Animatrix, in the cartoon called the Second Renaissance. Remember in the first movie how Morpheus mentions how man "scarred the sky"? In the cartoon account, you see them do it and see why: to shut the sun off so the solar powered robots will suffer in the great war between man and machine. Only we're not at war with the machine. We're going to scar the sky and we're even under machine rule yet.

Now I don't know what to think. Save polar bears, yes. But what the hell? But they're right. Our methods of doing something about warming aren't really going to go far enough. We have millions of green idiots thinking eating fewer french fries and recycling their diapers is going to make significant difference. Extreme times, extreme measures. And then I remember that the upper atmosphere is cut off from the lower entirely by the "pause" segments in the atmosphere's layers.

I just worry of there being a Jevon's Paradox style recoil for this... hey, the earth can be cooled, so why bother reducing? Step it up. Then we darken the skies more. Then the next thing you know, we're living in a world whose atmosphere is so pumped full of pollution we're practically wearing sunglasses, earth-sized, and you and I become sun-deprived drooly beasts like the ones that attacked the girls in The Descent, and realize how much I think in terms of movies...

Then I remember Cindi McCain already looks like one.