Climate Change Apathy: More Americans Believe Their Actions Will Not Slow Down Climate Change.

Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication

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According to a survey conducted by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University’s Center for Climate Change Communication, fewer Americans feel their individual actions will slow down climate change than they did 4 years ago. From the NY Times article:

“Sixty percent said energy-saving habits could help curb climate change if they were adopted by most Americans, down from 78 percent in 2008…”

The authors of the survey did find positives including the increased use of low-energy CFL light bulbs and more carpoolers and mass-transit riders. But this doesn’t take away from the key result of the survey that more Americans feel climate change is out of our control. What would reverse the downward trend and change people’s minds? Maybe telling them geoengineering is plan b. Consume less [NY Times]


Consume Less Of Everything Now Or A Future Remedy May Be Seeding The Stratosphere With Sulfuric Acid.

Geoengineering Methods - Climatecentral.orgFrom the Holy Crap! file comes this GigaOM post, “Rx for a carbon-warmed planet: Sulfuric acid?” about David Keith’s worst-case scenario solution to counter the effects of global warming. How does it work? A fleet of customized Gulfstream jets would seed the stratosphere with droplets of sulfuric acid that would deflect sunlight. Yes, it’s preventable geoengineering at its scariest. [GigaOM, GigaOM]


Sending A Boat To Cruise Around A Liquid Methane Lake On Saturn Moon Titan. Should We Even Bother?

It's boating season on Saturn's moon Titan.Sener Aerospace has a ginormous idea – they’d like to float a boat on one of Titan’s liquid methane lakes and collect samples. Titan, one of Saturn’s moons, was previously visited by the Huygens spacecraft in 2005 but its liquid methane lakes remain a mystery. That’s why scientists at Sener sent a proposal to the European Planetary Science Congress advancing the idea of sending a boat probe to Titan.

Science is great and what’s even better is that this proposed project, between a private Spanish company and a European space agency, will not cost me a dime.

But I have to suggest a move in the awesome direction: why not focus on our own planet first, help get it in order, and then figure out how to paddle around the methane lakes on a distant moon? To me, expending the resources in order to hit the prime boating season on Titan just seems likes something you would do after you have your shit together on your own planet. It even makes the colonizing Mars idea sound less crazy. Sorry Hudson. [CNET Crave]


Start Consuming Less Immediately Or They’ll Blow Up Asteroids To Create A Sunshade.

Geoengineering:  Corralling and blowing up an asteroid to create a sunshade.Prevent this tragedy! A team from Advanced Space Concepts Laboratory, University of Strathclyde, proposed corralling and then blowing up an asteroid to create a dust sunshade that’ll block the sun’s rays and offset an expected 2 °C increase in mean global temperature. Just another example of geoengineering gone wild.

So if we do get desperate, and decide to go this route, we might as well practice on the moon. [ScienceDirect via Inhabitat]


Arctic Sea Ice Melt Disaster: Not In 40 Years, Not In 30 Years – One Expert Predicts It’ll Happen In 4!

Arctice sea ice melt since 1979. NASA, NRDCNow this is scary. We’ve all heard the dire predictions about the Arctic ice melt that give us 20+ years to not act. But Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University, an expert on Arctic sea ice, is putting it all out there by predicting that the Arctic sea ice will collapse around the time of the 2016 Olympics. From the Guardian:

“Climate change is no longer something we can aim to do something about in a few decades’ time, and that we must not only urgently reduce CO2 emissions but must urgently examine other ways of slowing global warming, such as the various geoengineering ideas that have been put forward.”

What’s even scarier is knowing that Professor Wadham, who has spent years studying and measuring Arctic sea ice, now recommends going with geoengineering as a viable solution to slow down the melt and global warming.

Check out the article for more info on the implications of an Arctic ice melt. Professor Wadham really changes the game by predicting an Arctic ice melt disaster and accelerated global warming before most of think we’ll be able to live on Mars. [Guardian]


The Wind Wants A Job: Promises If Harvested, It Will Cover The World’s Electrical Demand Times 20.

Airborne and land based wind turbines.Kate Marvel, Ken Caldeira and Ben Kravitz researched and reported that there are enough surface winds on the planet to supply 400 terawatts (TW) of power. And if we tapped into high-altitude winds with airborne wind turbines, we could produce approximately 1800 TW. Currently, the world consumes 18 TW.

Meeting our energy demands with wind turbines will affect surface temperature and precipitation but not substantially. The team estimated that by not clustering the wind turbines in one region, the climate changing effect of demand-meeting wind power generation can be minimized to around a 0.2 (F) and only affect precipitation by roughly 1%.

Jubbling’s take: generating renewable wind power at this scale seems like a more viable way to slow down the effects of climate change. Especially when it’s compared to other solutions like the geo-engineered crazy, Greenland-sized space mirror. Just sayin. [Science Daily via e360]