Reading The Guardian today (from my new abode in London) I came across an article about a group of British academics that were starting trials on a hot air balloon ‘the size of Wembley stadium’ that would float 20km above Earth and pump ‘hundreds of tonnes of minute chemical particles [sulphates and other aerosol particles] a day into the thin stratospheric air to reflect sunlight and cool the planet.’
That sounds pretty hi-tech to me. And just think, we’d be able to keep burning up fossil fuels and pumping as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as we want!
Am I the only one that can see this going wrong? Since when has pumping chemicals into the stratosphere been a good idea? Not to mention the fact that I’m sure it requires a huge amount of energy (hence more carbon pollution) to get the balloon up there as well as producing the chemicals and then pumping them up 20km of hose.
When will we stop trying to come up with these high-tech fixes to the problem of global warming? Technology will not save us, we just need to use less energy.
Meanwhile, back in Australia, the newly elected Victorian Baillieu Government has introduced new planning laws that will destroy the feasibility of Wind Farms in Victoria.
Wind farms are a low tech solution to our energy needs which, if coupled with a huge increase in energy efficiency across the state of Victoria, could provide enough energy to ensure we all lead comfortable, carbon free, lifestyles.
There are many concerns about the new planning laws: they will retard the growth of wind power in Victoria; thousands of vital rural and regional jobs won’t be generated; and so on. But perhaps the most concerning thing is that it would seem that the government is adopting the policies of the Australian Environment Foundation and the Victorian Landscape Guardians – both essentially front groups (AEF is funded by the right-wing corporate funded think tank the Institute of Public Affairs).
It’s also concerning the journalists aren’t picking up on these well established links.
It all reminds me of an Arch Druid Report article from 2009. The article compare’s the viability of two potential renewable energy sources: Fusion reactors which have had billions of dollar spent trying to development and are yet to produce one kilowatt of usable energy; and micro-hydro systems built from recycled washing machines which required very little research and development and are currently producing small amounts of energy with a high level of efficiency.