78 songs on the Musician(s) Of The Week waiting list Global Warming Side-Effect Of The Day: Acne

Acid rain is the new cure for global warming

May 20th, 2008 at 08:35pm

Professor Tim Flannery has some bright ideas to prevent global warming:

SCIENTIST Tim Flannery has proposed a radical solution to climate change which may change the colour of the sky.
[..]
Professor Flannery says climate change is happening so quickly that mankind may need to pump sulphur into the atmosphere to survive.
[..]
The gas sulphur could be inserted into the earth’s stratosphere to keep out the sun’s rays and slow global warming, a process called global dimming.

Well that’s all well and good except that, firstly, sulphur is generally not a gas, and secondly, when it is, it works wonders if you want acid rain. In a gaseous form you can have either sulphur dioxide or sulphur trioxide; the former is a primary cause of acid rain as sulphuric acid, the latter is mixed with water to produce sulphuric acid.

Unfortunately News Limited omitted the line of the AAP story explaining why Professor Flannery wants sulphur in the atmosphere, but The Age were kind enough to include it:

The gas sulphur could be inserted into the earth’s stratosphere to keep out the sun’s rays and slow global warming, a process called global dimming.

That’s odd, I thought it was only the “greenhouse gases are not the cause of global warming, it’s all the sun’s fault” crowd that wanted to blame the sun’s rays for changes in Earth’s climate. Thankfully the professor proves that he is not in my camp on that one:

Regardless of what happened to emissions in the future, there was already far too much greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, he said.
Cutting emissions was not enough. Mankind now had to take greenhouse gases out of the air.

OK, but how? I suppose more trees could help (unless you’re the confused scientist who kept telling 2CC’s Mike Jeffreys about the merits of de-forestation this morning…he didn’t realise he had the wrong term at any stage during the conversation) but if we need to actively remove it from the atmosphere, doesn’t that mean burning an awful lot of fuel to get extraction devices up there?

Personally, I’d much rather watch the temperature fall all by itself.

At the very least, kudos to the nutty professor for trying, and for giving me some extra entertainment.

Samuel

Entry Filed under: Global Warming,Samuel's Editorials

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