[ExI] Global warming fights

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Wed Nov 25 17:55:29 UTC 2009

2009/11/24 Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se>:
> Geoengineering is big here in the UK. Institutes are being set up, people in
> Oxford discuss in, it has been mentioned here in Parliament today (this is
> written from inside the House of Lords) and there are actually copies of the
> Royal Society report lying in the window behind me.

Glad to hear that. I am no climatologist, and in principle refuse to
engage in religious wars about global warming, one side or another,
but my litmus test for the seriousness and good faith of those
concerned with anthropic-or-not climate change is their willingness to
take into consideration geo-engineering solutions to the perceived

> Jason also pointed out something potentially scary.  The uncertainty in CO2
> warming forcing is not enormous, but we have a very big uncertainty in
> tropospheric aerosol cooling forcing. Now imagine people rapidly moving away
> from fossil fuels. The CO2 will remain for a century, the aerosols fall out
> after about a year. The aerosol forcing could be small, in which case we
> just get a slow decline of the current heating. But if it is large, then the
> current heating has been the sum of a big masking term and an almost equally
> large heating term - and now the full heating will come into play. In that
> scenario we would get nasty climate change as a result of reducing fossil
> emissions.

Interesting. This is exactly the kind of thing that those for whom
carbon reduction, or even better "décroissance" in general terms, is
an end in itself, global warming being just a nice argument to support
advocacy for that end...

Stefano Vaj

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