Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Sunday!

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Sunday!

* Your attention please: Arlen Specter would like you to know he is not a loyal Democrat.

* ‘The Politics of Climate Hacking: What happens if one country decides to start geo-engineering on its own?’

“This is not at all hard to do,” Granger told the audience, declaring that “a single large nation”—especially a nuclear power, which might act with relative impunity—could easily exercise the option. A run of bad news from the climate scientists might convince a government that the breakup of the Greenland ice sheet was accelerating, and that Earth’s low-lying areas were facing an imminent rise of 3 feet or more in sea level. “If, say, a Huckabee administration suddenly woke up and started geoengineering the planet, what could anybody else do about it?” Morgan asked. (One could equally envision a left-leaning, low-lying European nation with the same inclination.) Geoengineering “turns the normal debate over climate change on its head,” he and some co-authors wrote recently in Foreign Affairs. Getting nations to agree to cut their greenhouse pollution has proved to be the ultimate free-rider problem, as the biggest nations must all cooperate or the planet will keep getting warmer. The Pinatubo option creates the opposite dilemma: As the discussions in Lisbon made clear, any of a dozen nations could change the global temperature all by itself.

It’s becoming increasingly clear, I think, that international political actors view geo-engineering as the option of first resort; there are still no serious coordinated efforts to reduce carbon emission, so radical a dereliction of duty as to amount to a suicide pact—unless they’ve convinced themselves they can jury-rig some ad hoc solution as the crisis escalates.

* See also: the world, 4 degrees warmer and An Introduction to Global Warming Impacts: Hell and High Water. All via MeFi.

* Alain Badiou on the communist hypothesis.

“But that reduces your communist adherence to nothing more than a faith! Rather than look at its practical impact upon the twentieth century, you just say, ‘Oh, well, that wasn’t pure, it wasn’t true to the idea, but I know the idea itself remains right.’ That’s a form of faith.”

“Maybe, but faith is a great thing sometimes.”

* Does DC own Superboy again? Via io9.

* Join Alex Greenberg on a trip to the retro-future.

Written by gerrycanavan

May 3, 2009 at 5:52 pm

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