Sanity seems to have been sent on forced retirement in Trump’s America. Harvard University has come up with a plan to shield the planet from the sun’s heat to counter global warming. And billionaire Bill Gates is proving he has gone bonkers by bank rolling the utterly senseless endeavour.
But their lack of sanity or sensitivity aside, who gave them the right to block the sun? Having made a few dollars by writing some code does not give anyone the right to deny the very the source of life to others on this planet. As for science, when it comes to life and the living, we know almost nothing.
Besides the fact that we cannot cure most life threatening diseases, we cannot even cure the simple flu or restore functions to an impaired kidney. The very limits of our knowledge as human beings were laid bare in May earlier this year when two researchers from Israel and one from the US discovered the largest organ in the human body. It has since been named Interstitium and is 20 percent of the body. However, we yet have no idea what functions it has in the human body. In simple words, we do not know how the body works.
Instead of such new discoveries making us humble, we have simply ignored the fact of this discovery and go on touting the hollow drums of scientific knowledge. In a world where no doctor can fix a moving tooth, we are out to dim the sun. How it will effect life on our planet is anyone’s guess.
That America is unlike other nations in the world is obvious. On the one hand, Trump has unilaterally abandoned the Paris Agreement the whole world agreed upon to combat global warming, and on the other, the very bastion of Establishment which is the Harvard University, is out to test a patently laughable idea. However, the consequences of this madness are so grave one cannot consider this funny.
The United Kingdom also dis a similar experiment funded by Britain’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council in 2011. The project injected water droplets into the atmosphere from a gigantic balloon attached to a hosepipe. The eventual aim, if these experiments were deemed successful, was to squirt large amounts of sulphate aerosols into the stratosphere, to reduce global warming by scattering sunlight back into space. This appears to phase II of that effort.
Geoengineering is not a solution to which any one has given their consent in the comity of nations. It is one of the many many esoteric approaches to reduce global warming. Instead of reducing greenhouse gas emissions or carbon sequestratin, money hungry scientists at Harvard are going forward to limit the sunlight reaching the Earth.
Blocking out sunlight is not a new idea. It has been around since decades albeit there is no agreement that it is even worth a try. It is akin to reducing the temperature of a sick person by putting him in an air-conditioned environment. No doctor has ever tried such an approach with a person running a high temperature to cure. There is no way to figure out the impact on precipitation patterns, the ozone layer, and global vegetative cover or crop yields.
The Harvard team says it intends to spray calcium carbonate particles into the stratosphere in a real world test. It is being funded largely by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. Although the potential negative effects are far from having been known, the brazen project is moving ahead simply because it is considered a low cost solution to global warming. When Harvard asserts releasing particles into the stratosphere could offset 1.5 °C of warming for $1 billion to $10 billion per year, it is only bothered about asserting the costs are lower than global reduction in fossil fuel use or carbon sequestration. Detractors also include those who have been accusing the United States of America of geo-engineering and weather warfare modifications. In their world view, the Harvard project is an effort to camouflage and cover up those military technologies.
The risks to vegetative cover—from trees to shrubs to grasses and global crops—weather conditions, and the global hydrological cycles that determine rainfall and water transport. Pakistan is especially vulnerable due to changes in the monsoon patterns.
The project, called Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment (SCoPEx), is to begin as early as the spring of 2019.
It is a sorry reflection of our world that it is OK to block the sun based on controversial reasoning. It is stupid that the Western media has given the sun a bad name by promoting pseudo-science claiming it kills us with skin cancer. Now Harvard is say the sun warms the earth too much. But the sun is the only reason we are alive on this planet. The so called “science” must be told to stop instead of letting a bunch of greedy individuals manipulate the sun’s rays for money in the name of science.
What is accepted widely by most scientists is that around 66 million years ago, a mass extinction event known as the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) extinction wiped out up to 80 percent of the life on Earth. This die-off is linked to blocking of the sun by a giant comet or asteroid that slammed into Earth and left an enormous crater measuring 112 miles (180 kilometers) across, under what is now the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Debris that “blasted into the upper atmosphere and beyond” quickly encircled the globe and blocked the sun, paleoclimate experts have established. As this particulate cover extended across Earth’s atmosphere, it blocked the sun and dimmed sunlight enough to sound a death knell for photosynthesizing plants and the animals that ate them.
It is well established that reduced solar input over months or years hurts the ability of living plants and animals to grow and reproduce. Sure reduced sunlight would mean cooler surface temperatures but data from the Cretaceous extinction is hardly encouraging, to say the least.
Reflecting sunlight is absolutely not a solution for climate change. It is vital that America cuts its emissions instead of using climate engineering to wiggle out of its global environmental duty. The biggest economy in the world must work fast to cut its carbon emissions without further ado. Geo-engineering is is an admission of failure to get to grips with climate change. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Khalid Hussain is Resident Editor of TLTP – You may contact Khalid Hussain at Resident.Editor@tltpnews.com.pk
The Law Today Pakistan, commonly known as TLTP, is the largest news wire service, headquartered in Islamabad. The service is providing fast, comprehensive and verified news on superior courts adjudications, regulatory framework of fiscal, monitory and external sectors, economic regulatory bodies amid apex institutions regulating the financial system. TLTP is empowering readers of more than 12 national English dailies in the country.