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Will civilization survive?  A loaded question I suppose, and anyway, people, if alive, will always be doing something, and that by definition that is their civilization.  

But what WE are doing is unsustainable, and we will not be doing it much longer.  So yes, OUR civilization will go, will COLLAPSE--whether we like it or not--and it is not a question of SEEKING to destroy our civilization, which is actually doing that particular job all by itself.  

I do believe good thought, including scientific knowledge, might be used--and indeed should be used--to ameliorate the consequences of what is happening now.  But the SO2 scheme is at least a double-edged sword--if it does not have more edges than that--because its capability for harm is at least as great as for good, and depends critically on who studies it and implements it and when.  To be a back-up plan, used only in need, in a context where sustainability is actually happening (not our world) is totally different from introducing it in the fore, with--as is clearly the case for some--the intention that the transition to sustainability be evaded and postponed.  In this latter scenerio SO2 will make the catastrophe of transition worse.  

Your point 2) opens an evil scenerio that never occurred to me:  A world thick with smog but kept just barely cool enough by heavy doses of stratospheric SO2, which must be perpetually increased as CO2 loading of the atmosphere continues, until we find effects from precipitating SO2 (acid rain returns) becoming important.  

Perhaps this was anticipated in Marge Percy's "Woman on the Edge of Time."  

But you are wrong to imply that this can be continued indefinitely, and that to oppose it is to be pro-warming.  It would just be another stage in the death-slide.  

Are you asking how can we persuade people to avoid this scenerio?  It is surely worth doing.  

I suspect there is a good reason to oppose stratospheric SO2 injection intuitively.  And should we find un-intuitive, logical and fact-based reasons?  That is a good idea.  

Your scenerio of point 2) is reason enough to oppose, but there is no reason not to have more facts.  

Migeru read me right.  The snap-back is not the problem of the SO2 returning, which is separate and not argued here.  It is that using SO2 to allow greater CO2 loading will mean that when the SO2 comes out of the stratosphere, the global warming will be greater and sharper than it otherwise would have been.  

This creates a more desolate post-boundary environment.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Sun Oct 15th, 2006 at 07:04:02 AM EST
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