No, this is about an entirely different global warming scandal. In this 2007 presentation, David Keith lets the cat out of the bag by revealing a cheap, fast, effective solution to global warming which we’ve known about for as long as we’ve been worried about global warming. Yes, you read that right.
Keith is a Canada Research Chair in Energy and the Environment at the University of Calgary and the opposite of a global warming skeptic. He loves conservation so much he is conflicted about telling everyone about the cheap, fast, effective solution to global warming because they may not want to conserve once they know about it. In fact, he cites political correctness as the reason no one discusses this cheap, fast, effective solution.
There is a lot to discuss here.
- What is your reaction to this idea of geoengineering?
- Why didn’t Al Gore mention this idea when he was scaring me to death about how we’re all screwed?
- If Keith is correct that political correctness is the reason this does not get discussed, what does this say about global warming science? I’m pretty sure science is not supposed to be filtering its ideas through a political filter.
- Is anyone aware of any showstopper problems with this he didn’t mention? My impression is that fear of unintended consequences is the biggest (technical) problem.
- Is it a little bit weird that he keeps saying he’s sure he doesn’t want to geoengineer the planet even though one of the reasons he wants more research on the topic is to study the reasons not to do it? Does he have sufficient reasons to rule it out or not? If so, why doesn’t he list off a few of the worst reasons? The only thing he mentions here is other effects of CO2 other than warming like ocean acidity. I’d be interested in the rest of the list.
- In recent years and in certain quarters fighting global warming has become somewhat of a religious movement (I live and work in Oregon so you’ll be hard-pressed to convince me otherwise). If the “imminent destruction unless we act!” claim was removed from the debate, how would that change things? Could we have more sensible discussions of what to do in response to global warming? Would Obama still want to pass cap and trade? Would global warming skeptics be more open to global warming being real if there was a solution on the table other than a massive overhaul of what we are allowed to buy and how we are allowed to live?
- What did you find interesting that I missed?
 This interview of Keith in Yale’s Environment 360 is also interesting for some further reading.
 Crichton gave a good speech explaining what I mean by that.