What could go wrong? Railroad engineer and head of the IPCC Rajendra Pachauri announced at the Cancun climate summit today that he has decided that the threat of global warming is so great that the IPCC is going to recommend in its next report (AR5) that actions be taken to re-engineer the climate. Key quote:
“The AR5 has been expanded and will in future focus on subjects like clouds and aerosols, geo-engineering and sustainability issues,” [Pachauri] said.
Later this year IPCC “expert groups” will meet in Peru to discuss geo-engineering. Options include putting mirrors in space to reflect sunlight or covering Greenland in a massive blanket so it does not melt. Sprinkling iron filings in the ocean “fertilises” algae so that it sucks up CO2 and “seeding clouds” means that less sunlight can get in. Other options include artificial “trees” that suck carbon dioxide out of the air, painting roofs white to reflect sunlight and man-made volcanoes that spray sulphate particles high in the atmosphere to scatter the sun’s rays back into space.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
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