There’s a cheap, quick, dirty, and controversial way to combat global warming that isn’t on the agenda of the United Nations climate summit in Paris, which runs from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11. It involves replicating the planet-cooling effect of a volcanic eruption. When Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines blew in 1991, its emissions briefly reversed most of the global warming that had occurred since the start of the Industrial Revolution… Rutgers University climatologist Alan Robock is highly skeptical of what he sees as tinkering on a planetary scale. Robock, 66, is a onetime Peace Corps volunteer whose website features pictures of himself braving the cold in Antarctica and posing with Fidel Castro in Cuba. The late Edward Lorenz, a pioneer of chaos theory, was Robock’s adviser on his Ph.D. thesis in meteorology at MIT. Robock’s list of 26 downsides to geoengineering ranges from the vital ("whose hand is on the thermostat?") to eye of the beholder ("affect stargazing")… Strangely, Keith and Robock wrote a paper together last year with other authors and agree on much of the basic science. Where they disagree is on how to weigh costs and benefits. Without singling out Robock, Keith says many scientists are exaggerating the risks because they don’t trust the world’s governments to handle such a powerful instrument.
Read the entire article at www.bloomberg.com »