Engineering climate change?

An Op/Ed column in Saturday’s Times Dispatch (6/20, “Can Engineering Fix Climate Change” by Samuel Thernstrom) opines about the benefits of  trying to “engineer” our climate to become cooler as a means to mitigate global warming. 

I find this disturbing.  You must read the article to understand why, but in summary, climate scientists are seeking ways to force our climate to cool by introducing particulates into the air in certain ways that would reduce incoming solar radiation.

The science of weather modification has been around since at least the mid-20th century, yet its use has wisely been limited over the decades since.  The possibility of unintended consequences of man tinkering with the natural cycles of our weather prompted prudent choices. 

Fast forward to today.  Weather modification is now geoengineering, and the fear of global-warming has given rise to alarming solutions.  Do we really want to go down this path?  Think about it. 

Posted by Jim Duncan


10 Responses to Engineering climate change?

  1. Tyler says:


    Wow. I have to say when I stumbled upon your weather blog I was very pleased at the depth and sincerity of your thoughts on current weather issues, however, when I came across this particular post I was disturbed to say the least. It is patently offensive to the entrepreneurial spirit and ingenuity of America’s engineers to discourage them from fundamentally altering our climate for the enjoyment of my family and many others. I am in complete solidarity with both Alice and Jessica. We should be free to let the market decide what happens to our climate and be able to enjoy our jetskis and snowmobiles. I think the President’s energy plan should reflect this and give heavy subsidies to climate engineering technology. More, I think we should show our troops the respect and dignity they deserve by allotting a significant sum to purchasing jetskis and snowmobiles for them and their families as well.


  2. Jerry Roebuck says:

    I agree with Jim completely. I read the article in question and it scared me immediately. The earth may be entering a cooling phase anyway. Throwing this junk into the atmosphere might precipitate another mini ice age episode. The same people who are in the process of ruining our economy may want to ruin our weather also. I prefer global warming to global cooling.

  3. Jessica says:

    As a proud American, I believe that Alice is absolutely right. Nothing should keep me from my snowmobile Januarys and jetboat Augusts. I would throroughly support any measure of climate engineering to maintain the standard of recreational activites my family has come to enjoy so much, no matter the “consequences” that some maintain will befall us. Maximum budget allocation should be for new, climate engineering technologies, not phony “wind” and “solar” technologies. I make enough wind and heat from my jetboat.

    • nbc12weather says:

      You and Alice are missing my point, which is this; why try to deliberately alter our weather when Nature always takes care of keeping things in balance anyway, without our involvement. Jack’s post gets what I’m aiming at.
      P.S., I enjoy riding snowmobiles and jet skis too.

    • Brian says:

      To Alice and Jessica,

      Do you think that “Global Warming” in some way pertains to America alone? What does being an American have to do with anything? We are all in this together…It’s no wonder so many other countries dislike us so much. As you so eloquently put, “We Americans” do not alone have the right to decide what solution (if any) is best for Earth. Releasing particulates into the atmosphere by any one country alone will eventually carry across the globe. You can already see this with massive volcano eruptions.

      Mother Nature has taken care of the inhabitants of earth for thousands of years, who are we to think we can make it better? I for one believe that the Earth goes through warming and cooling phases and no action need be taken. However, on the pollution side of the house, i believe an international consortium should define tight standards on how to lower pollutants released into the air. Your so-called “phony” wind and solar technologies have the ability to decrease pollutants in the atmosphere…and they are also renewable and reusable energies…thanks to Mother Nature.

      I would call it down-right un-American to go about manipulating the environment on our own accord simply so you can enjoy your gasoline burning mobiles…how selfish. I could understand if you were more interested some type of geo-engineering solution to prevent animal extinction because you like to fish, etc…

      PS (and totally unrelated) – I support our troops, i just do not support the people who put them there in the fist place…but i digress.

  4. Vanessa says:

    Let’s face it everytime man messes with something, he messes it up.

  5. Jack says:

    Whoa!! how did we get from weather to troops.

    Jim, I agree completely that we should not attempt any of the methods suggested. I have read several similar articles and have concluded that they are fund raising attempts for the geoengineering crowd creating a new “research” category for grants.

    I would be very interested in knowing your view on the validity of global warming as a threat to anyone. It seems to me that, again, it is a way to build an industry on very bad science. Best, Jack

  6. Alice says:

    Dear Jim,

    I would agree with you, only I’m an American. As any true patriot knows, global warming is a myth created by left wing political junkies to scare us into being more environmentally “friendly”. However, if we pretended for a second that I believed in this global warming hooey, I would be offended by your insinuation that we Americans should not be allowed to do whatever we want with the land we own just because of the alleged consequences. It’s just un-American to not exploit what we have to our benefit. Jim, are you saying you don’t support our troops?

    With concern,

  7. If it will save me a few bucks on my air conditioning bill every month, I’m all for it!

  8. Teh climate here in Tenerife is perfect and climate change will have a dramatic effect. Read our latest blogpost about climate change. At this stage I think we need to consider all options.

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