THE BLOG

Global Warming: Can we Solve This and Move on?

10/21/2013 06:37 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Here is a link to a recent opinion piece by Bob Sandford in the Globe and Mail called "Five climate reports, five similar conclusions. It's time to listen."

Sandford writes: "Even when known deniers and cranks challenge any aspect of the growing body of climate science, researchers are bound by the scientific method to invert the entire established knowledge infrastructure on this planet to see to if any given challenge deserves consideration. This is how science advances over time. On matters related to climate we have been doing this for forty years."

I have "bristled" at the inappropriate use, on this issue, of "denier" language before, and so I won't belabour the point again. But I will say Sandford's use of the phrase "researchers are bound by the scientific method to invert the entire established knowledge infrastructure on this planet to see to if any given challenge deserves consideration" is obvious hyperbole. But I will take him up on the offer that the highly funded IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) are duty bound to investigate any reasonable suggestions to help solve the problem. However, really, I do not expect these researchers to have to "invert the entire established knowledge infrastructure on this planet" to do it.

On the theme, Global Warming, can we solve this and move on, here is a link to two very exciting recent news reports, one from Canada and the CBC and one from Australia.

CO2 emissions could feed algae biofuel bonanza

Australia to Build First CO2 Capture for Algae Biofuel

And here is a link and a quote from the Wikipedia article on "Plankton" that "floats" the idea of growing new plankton blooms specifically to take the extra CO2 generated by human activities out of the atmosphere. For the quote see the Biogeochemical significance section.

"Organic Material tends to be more dense than seawater and as a result it sinks into open ocean ecosystems away from the coastlines transporting carbon along with it. This process is known as the "biological pump" and it is one reason that oceans constitute the largest carbon sink on Earth."

"It might be possible to increase the ocean's uptake of carbon dioxide generated through human activities by increasing plankton production through "seeding", primarily with the micronutrient iron."

"Algae", is the Latin word for "seaweed", and the many varieties in the ocean use photosynthesis to "capture carbon" and grow. And of course, the fact that the surface of the earth is 70% ocean, is the reason, ocean algae / diatoms etc., and not forests, are the largest carbon sink on earth.

Today, the following is in the realm of the plot for a science fiction novel, but why can't we do the research necessary to build massive floating edible vegetation "carbon sinks", on the world's oceans, taking enough CO2 out of the atmosphere to not only halt global warming, but to also feed the planet. CO2 is "plant food" and increasing the world's food supply, changes everything.

For what new ocean vegetation we can't use for food, we could research how to bury it under the ocean floor, the way nature has done this for us in the past, by burying massive growths of vegetation, to give us the original oil and gas in the first place.

Seriously, where is the research in the IPCC report on the important role of carbon dioxide in helping plants and algae grow faster? And if this has not been the mandate of the IPCC, then, seriously, we should expand their mandate.

As an evangelical Christian, if there is any one thing I "hate" most, it is the "world overpopulation" "meme", and the miserable concomitant that can so easily sap our courage to rescue each and every child in the third world. And yes, even though 70% of the surface of planet earth is ocean, and humanity has barely touched this resource, as far as managing it and farming it, and certainly no one is living on the ocean "yet", still people are taught to use "the world overpopulation meme" as their excuse for practically everything. Have enough faith people, will you, that together we will find solutions that will "wake us from our dogmatic slumber" AND bring everyone aboard the ship.

Wouldn't it be great if we could solve global warming so that the intellectual elite of the planet could get back to helping us solve the other problems of the world.

And then we can get back to the real agenda of planet earth; treating the children of the world with dignity and respect; giving them the right to parents who are expected to be there, for them, as best they can, always. Giving them education and the right to parent directed education. And then helping them earn their own homestead, their own farm or business. Helping them become free and independent citizens of this beautiful earth, giving them what is not too much to ask is it, a hope and a future. Where have I heard that before, but it sounds like to me, an awesomely good thing to do.

P.S. It is always good to read a second opinion. Here is a link to a recent op-ed in the Financial Post by Judith A. Curry, Chair and Professor, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology headlined "Kill the IPCC." In this article Curry calls climate change a "wicked problem (comprising open, complex and imperfectly understood systems.)"

P.P.S. Some of the world's greatest scholars, from C.S. Lewis to Karl Popper and his book "The Open Society and Its Enemies", have warned us that "Scientific Egotism" can quickly degenerate into a claim for exclusive access to political power and a closed society. We need an "open society" says Popper, because "Knowledge is never completed but always ongoing." And that respecting pluralistic dissent, is the hallmark of an open society, not just out of politeness, but as an appreciation, that pluralistic dissent, is required, for the advancement of knowledge itself.