Digital Diatribes

A presentation of data on climate and other stuff

The Global Warming Solution is… (drum roll please)… Spraying Clouds With Seawater!

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on September 9, 2009


Yes, it’s true. Making big, white, puffy clouds even bigger, whiter, and puffier is the latest brainchild of the ignoramuses who consider themselves to be elite thinkers. Oh, I’m sorry… is that too judgmental? Excuse me: the proposed solution is the latest theoretical benchmark in the climate change debate. Better? I wouldn’t want to offend anyone.

So, apparently the answer is to spray saltwater into clouds. But don’t let me explain it. Here’s the story:

We’ve Solved It! And it only took until lunch time!

…So how would they fix the global climate threat? How about keeping global temperatures in check by spraying clouds with drops of seawater to help make them bigger and whiter and more reflective of the sun’s rays. That’s the conclusion of a small panel of very acclaimed economists assembled by the Copenhagen Consensus, the Nobel-heavy brain trust assembled every year by Bjorn Lomborg, the iconoclastic author, to tackle the world’s problems.

The five-member panel, which includes three Nobel laureates in economics, ranked fifteen climate-change remedies, from reengineering clouds to a carbon tax, in order of how much bang they’d offer for the buck. “Marine cloud whitening” (editor’s note: LMAO) came out on top.

The idea of spraying ocean clouds with water would cost only $9 billion. Mr. Lomborg says it could take just 1850 ships to do the tricks. But he says it could offer trillions of dollars in benefits by acting like a giant coat of 100+ sunblock. “It’s unbelievably cheap if it works,” says Finn Kydland, Copenhagen Consensus panel member and a 2004 Nobel winner, whose work on “time consistency” problems explained how short-sighted thinking can prompt government policy makers to make long-run mistakes. [editor’s note: of course, there will be no side affects of this, will there? I mean, who needs the sun anyway?]

Other Nobel winners on the panel included Thomas Schelling, a game theorist who won in 2005, and Vernon Smith, an experimental economist who won in 2002. “We’re not saying, let’s go do this tomorrow. We’re saying, let’s spend 10 years and find out if this works,” Mr. Lomborg told us.”It would be immoral not to.” [editor’s note: LMAO]

Geoengineering has its critics—both within the Copenhagen Consensus and without. The British Institute of Mechanical Engineers tsk-tsked this week at the viability of climate engineering. Mr. Lomborg says he got a pleasant reception Thursday when he explained the findings to White House advisers. [editor’s note: I’m shocked. Shocked!]

And the three worst choices? The group ranked as “very poor” solutions three versions of a carbon tax, which would do little to drive clean energy and even less to curb emissions, but which would succeed nicely in derailing the global economy, the experts found.

A cap-and-trade proposal, such as that operating in Europe and under consideration in Congress, didn’t even make the list, meaning it ranks below “very poor” in their skeptical minds.

[Editor’s note: Maybe I need to back off on my earlier fun-making. I agree with their assessment of the Carbon Tax and Cap and Trade here, so I admit to having been knocked off stride by this suddenly reasonable conclusion.]

spray bottle

OK, so I am having fun with this idea, and my honest opinion is that we should do NOTHING to address the specific issue of climate change. We should focus all environmental policy on actual pollution (real pollution) issues, and incrementally and economically looking at improving things as technology allows and markets dictate.

Having said that, if these economists can actually convince the world’s governments to spend only $9 billion to spray some saltwater into the clouds under the promise that all carbon taxes, cap and trade, and all other stupid ideas are immediately rescinded, then I might compromise and tell them to go for it.

Of course, since I’ve convinced myself that we’ll be cooling for the next 20 years, I consider the entire premise to be folly. But I guess if you’re going to screw us over, I’d rather be screwed over in a less expensive manner.

But why the ships? Just give everyone in the world a spray bottle filled with sea water. “A spray a day keeps global warming away” would have a nice ring to it.


2 Responses to “The Global Warming Solution is… (drum roll please)… Spraying Clouds With Seawater!”

  1. Jeff Id said

    Good stuff. If we could get out of this jump to socilism for 9 billion that would be fantastic. I’ll pay my share today.

    The IPCC cannot support a fix that cheap as it would eliminate future funding for them. From their perspective the correction for the problem must be expensive or they will need to find new jobs. If I recall correctly 9 billion is 1/3 of their annual global warming budget.

  2. Madge said

    These are students from colleges, high schools and universities throughout the world.
    Hopefully, this represents some sort of indication that, even here in God’s country, Cache Valley, Utah, we’ve had enough of the ultra extreme
    far right for awhile. See how much of this change is attributed to greenhouse gases, albedo (i.

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