Thursday, August 17, 2023

What can stop Climate Change

We look at Climate Change as see no real way out of this. Which is totally fair. Climate Change is the slow motion destruction you couldn't see coming, and now don't know how to stop.

But we, as people and Americans, are often defeatists until we aren't. So let's look at the bight side of things. How can we stop Climate Change?

The short answer is that we cannot in the short and medium term. We have passed the tipping point for many problems we have today. Glaciers are retreating or gone. Arctic ice has melted. Antarctic ice shelves are melting. Greenland is melting. These issues will definitely raise sea-levels quite a bit. Hopeful overtime, but it may come in a rush if ice sheets in Antarctica collapse. Already mild climate change is causing havoc with fires, droughts, tornados, hurricanes, typhoons, and more. Food production will change and might lead to famines in certain places.

But longer term we can have hope.  There are 3 ways we can try to undo what damage is done, and prevent the spiral of doom. In the order I think people will accept.

1. Physically remove carbon from the air. There is a working model of this process in Iceland, and other interesting ideas on the drawing board. Like I said, removing carbon isn't an end all. Key changes already underway cannot be stopped, much less reverse this simply.

2. Geo-engineer a technical solution (short or medium term). One way to stall climate change while 1 or 3 are implemented is to figure out a way to reduce sunlight reaching the earth. Nature has done this when there is MAJOR volcanic eruptions. It may be that we shoot sulfur dioxide and / or hydrogen sulfide into the atmosphere to mimic volcanic ash. The problem with this is that it is experimental. Too little may not help, too much may reduce the light reaching the ground too much. Anyone country, including the United States, could not stop another country doing this. India, Pakistan or Iran all have rockets that could do this, and all are suffering a lot from Climate Change.

3. Stop using fossil fuels that contribute to greenhouse gases. I think this will happen as the price comes down for alternatives - solar and wind are already cheaper than oil or gas energy. Alternative energy also has to overcome NIYism (Not In My Backyard). For example, Maine doesn't want offshore windmills were they can barely be seen. Farmers in the midwest object to solar even on unproductive land. But I don't think this will change until those objecting to implementation are impacted by climate change.

We don't have a hope of dropping the ocean temperature, as we don't even know where to start.

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