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The top 10 craziest ideas for saving the planet July 4, 2007

Posted by Andreas in Environment, News, Politics, rant, Society, Sustainable Living.

(Some of the following appeared in the last issue of Obrigado.)

Forget about nanotechnology and biotechnology – geo-engineering (according to Wikipedia: the application of technology for the purpose of influencing the global properties of a planet) is the latest thing to be really worried about if you’re a greenie.

All of the following proposals have actually been suggested as answers to global warming. Be afraid… be very afraid.

1. Man*-made “volcanoes”

Using jet engines, cannons or balloons, inject tens of thousands of tons of sulphur dioxide particles into the stratosphere every month to reflect some of the incoming solar radiation, thus mimicking the action of real volcanoes. Vicious smog and acid rain…, but great sunsets. (*On the whole, women don’t come up with this sort of shit).

2. Ocean fertiliser

Dump tons of iron dust into the planet’s oceans to cause massive algal blooms, which will absorb and sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Screw the fish, we are saving the planet, dammit!

3. Beach umbrellas in outer space

Via 20 million rocket launches, deploy 16 trillion Frisbee-shaped discs, each just under a meter in diameter, between Earth and the sun. Acting like a gigantic cloud of beach umbrellas, these mini spaceships will reduce the heat from the sun reaching the planet. The price tag? US$4 trillion over 30 years. Brilliant.

4. The twinkly-sea project

Chuck vast quantities of reflective particles into the ocean, thereby increasing the planet’s albedo and raising the amount of sunlight reflected back into space. Free exfoliating body scrub with every dip. A variant of option 5 below.

5. The continental paint-job

Paint large tracts of unused land with reflective paint to lower global temperatures by returning some of the incoming solar radiation to space.

6. ‘It’s life, Jim, but not as we know it.’

Use terra-forming technology to create a breathable atmosphere on Mars or any other suitable body in the solar system and start evacuation procedures for planet Earth – billionaires and politicians first.

7. Floating cloud makers

Assemble a massive flotilla of ocean-born cloud making machines to encourage formation of atmosphere-cooling, low-lying clouds. Kind of like those 80’s smoke-machines – all at sea.

8. Artificial “trees”

Construct huge “plantations” of thousands of 60-meter high steel towers adorned with large filters, which absorb carbon dioxide from the air and convert it into a form that can be easily disposed of. Christmas trees on steroids, basically.

9. The Oudtshoorn solution

Stick your head in the sand, ignore the mounting evidence and steadfastly deny that anything bad is happening. The craziest idea of them all, which also happens to be by far the most popular.

10. The stop-what-you’re-doing principle

Lower humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions through the use of clean, renewable sources of power, improved energy efficiency and reduced consumption to achieve a state in which Earth’s self-regulating systems can cope once more. By far the most unpopular idea.



1. Glen - July 4, 2007

Hi Andreas. I got my hands on the Obrigado about two weeks ago and saw your other article about the types of greenies and had a good laugh. I’ve tagged you with a “Bloggers for Positive Global Change” award! Check the details at http://www.urbansprout.co.za. Cheers, Glen.

2. Andreas - July 5, 2007

Wow, thanks Glen – I feel honoured! Glad you enjoyed the Obrigado story, I think I’ll put it up as a post here in the next few days…

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