One of the truly great comedy scenes in cinematic history is from Mel Brooke's classic, Blazing Saddles. Not the campfire scene though that too has relevance to the global warming debate. No, what I am referring to is the New Sheriff scene where Cleavon Little (the new sheriff) surrounded by hostile townsfolk points his own gun to his head and convinces them (the townsfolk) to drop their guns lest he shoot himself.
This scene of absolute slap stick absurdity is what I thought of when I read this story on the Science 2.0 blog "Geo-Engineering For Global Warming Needs International Laws With Teeth". When I read the title I was sure it was going to be another story about how we need some new international treaty to allow for geo-engineering, which it is. However the way they get at it is, like the sheriff sticking a gun to his own head, is by asking the world to save the scientist from themselves.
Until a global policy is in place, scientists and organizations can easily circumvent international laws regarding geo-engineering by getting domestic approval, as we saw with LOHAFEX and environmental activist Russ George dumping iron in the ocean to create algal blooms, in defiance of treaties prohibiting it.So because scientist and activist groups can not control themselves from deploying there engineering schemes, an international organization must be established in order to sanction their schemes. They note that geo-engineering the climate might be harmful and have many unintended consequences:
More geo-engineering, manual manipulation of the environment, to slow global warming's impact is going to happen unless a global governance structure with some teeth is put into place, says University of Iowa law professor Jon Carlson.
"Geo-engineering is a global concern that will have climate and weather impacts in all countries, and it is virtually inevitable that some group of people will be harmed in the process," Carlson said in a statement. "The international community must act now to take charge of this activity to ensure that it is studied and deployed with full attention to the rights and interests of everyone on the planet."
Using the threat of an out of control scientific community, hell bent on playing with the climate to save us from ourselves which by the way is the very thing they are fanatically opposed to, man playing around with the climate, they propose to have yet another group of scientific bureaucrats sanctioning, well, men playing around with the climate.
One of the many concerns they express is for some of the more " complex and controversial" methods such as
... injecting chemicals like hydrogen sulfide or sulfur dioxide into the upper atmosphere, creating an aerosol shield that reduces the amount of solar heat reaching the earth's surface.
The proponents for this new "international organization" seem not to even consider the fact that there seems to be no way under current "international agreement" to stop China and other developing countries from spewing vast amounts of this "geoengineering solution" into the atmosphere already. Or for that matter they seem not to see the irony in that while the environmental community rails against and tries to enact international restrictions on nations spewing " hydrogen sulfide or sulfur dioxide into the upper atmosphere" they are simultaneously advocating for international agreements to sanction the spewing of " hydrogen sulfide or sulfur dioxide into the upper atmosphere".
In probably the single greatest understatement of all time the authors state, without a smiley face or even an LOL the following observation.
So it's no surprise lawyers advocate the creation of a new international governing body separate from existing organizations that would be tasked just with approving or rejecting geo-engineering plans.
Putting aside the outdated idea of national sovereignty, it would only be a surprise if lawyers, did not propose some new international governing body. That after all is what lawyers do, they create government agencies in order to either lobby or sue them. See the US Congress or the EU parliament, It is the closest thing to a self perpetuating machine yet devised..
In the end though the scheme is what it always is, redistribution, with a twist, an absurd twist.
As a model, Carlson suggests the International Monetary Fund (IMF). His proposed organization would give all countries a place during discussions, but reserve decisions to a small group of directors, each of which has a weighted vote that's based on their country's greenhouse gas production. That is, countries that produce more greenhouse gases will spend more money to combat global climate change, and so will have more votes.
So, China, which now emits the most greenhouse gasses and by the way also emits a tremendous amount of " hydrogen sulfide or sulfur dioxide into the upper atmosphere" , do they get a credit for that? I digress, China, under this scheme would have the most votes on a panel to charge themselves for the expense of geo-engineering to correct a supposed problem which they themselves caused. Brilliant. I can just see China voting to write billions of dollars in checks to fund this scheme, can't you?
But it is not only to fund the geo-engineering of the planet that this new panel needs to be enacted. No, it is also to protect the injured parties from any "unintended consequences of the geo-engineering scheme.
Carlson's proposed body would oversee a compensation fund to help people and countries that are harmed by other country's approved geo-engineering activities, or by unseen effects of those activitiesCan you say a man made ice age?
To summarize, the mad scientist of the geo-engineering community, unable to contain themselves, need a new international organization to sanction what they do. China and other greenhouse emitters will pay for their global experiments and also compensate harmed parties, or nations, should their experiments go awry. People actually take this insanity seriously you know.
"Lay your guns down or I'll shoot the ...scientist."