As we get closer to being evicted from the planet for bad behavior, increasingly lunatic ideas bubble up to the surface (not unlike methane hydrates) offering up schemes to “fix” the little problem we’re having (impending extinction). Of course, any kindergardener will tell you that if your house is on fire, the last thing you do is douse it with gasoline (while you attach a fuse to your belly button). 

The first step is not to dim the Sun for all eternity (yes, that is actually someone’s bright dim idea). It is to STOP using fossil fuels. So, to restate the obvious: Step One: stop doing what is killing the environment. Step Two: start fixing the mess you’ve made.

But that’s not how it’s going down. Since no one in a position of authority will tell the fossil fuel industry, “NO,” there are plenty of other notions about how we might “save” ourselves:

  1. Start dumping tons of stuff into the oceans to force them to absorb even more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere;
  2. Launch umbrellas into the upper atmosphere to dim the sunlight coming in;
  3. Build a magic straw to suck out the carbon dioxide (and hope a really big giant shows up to sip the other end?);
  4. Feed cows garlic so that they don’t emit methane when they pass gas;
  5. Wrap Greenland in a white blanket (not even kidding);
  6. Dam the Straits of Gibralter (for hydroelectric energy):
  7. Attach several miles of garden hose to a helium balloon and pump crap into the upper atmosphere to mimic a volcanic eruption and block the sunlight coming down to the surface of Earth (totally not making this up);
  8. Have a nuclear war (so those who survive can enjoy the cooling benefits of “nuclear winter”);
  9. Put millions of mirrors into orbit around the Earth to deflect the sunlight and make Earth dark;
  10. Make tree bombs and drop them from airplanes so that you can seed the planet with new trees.

Not a single one of those big plans are fake, by the way. But I’d add my own very simple plan: STOP BURNING FOSSIL FUELS.

Here’s someone trying to make geoengineering sound nifty and fun, you know, like a high school science experiment (because those never went badly!):

Methane hydrates- Large areas of open ocean starved of oxygen_Page_1

Methane hydrates- Large areas of open ocean starved of oxygen_Page_2

Methane hydrates- Large areas of open ocean starved of oxygen_Page_3

Methane hydrates- Large areas of open ocean starved of oxygen_Page_4

And in the sneakiest sleight of hand trick ever attempted, several of the right wing think tanks (Cato, AEI, etc.) who have been paid for years to deny that climate change is even HAPPENING are now the ones actually advocating for geoengineering, thus totally skipping the step of actually admitting they were wrong all this time.

mad scientist

But why would the same people who are killing the environment be advocating for geoengineering? So that their clients (the fossil fuel industry) can keep making money off fossil fuels which they can’t do if they’re dead. Duh.