Karl Gallagher (selenite) wrote,
Karl Gallagher

  • Mood:

Thinking Big

Rarely has this icon been more appropriate.

celticdragonfly wants me to share the conversation we had over lunch yesterday. I mentioned something about global warming uncertainties and she complained about the arrogance of people who think humans can precisely control the planet:

celticdragonfly: "Why not just change the orbit while you're at it? You can move the planet away from the Sun and cool it off that way."
selenite: Pause for thought. "Hmmm . . . find a big asteroid in an eccentric orbit and give it a kick at aphelion. Make it do a fly-by of the Earth and it'll perturb the orbit. That'd be the best leverage."
celticdragonfly: "Kick it how?"
selenite: "If you give me the combined nuclear arsenals of the planet, no problem."
celticdragonfly: "Oh, great, light off a rocket under them, that'll be safe." Sees my expression. "No, you're going to use Orion, aren't you?"
selenite: "If I've already got the nukes, why not?"
celticdragonfly: "Nuclear winter, that'll stop global warming."
selenite: "Hey! Orion is clean. It's much less polluting than using them for a war. Most of nuclear winter is the smoke from burning cities. Now if you want a nuclear winter, use the nukes to set off a volcano."
celticdragonfly: "One right next to some peaceful aboriginal people? Oh, that'll go over really well."
selenite: "Well, Mount Rainier would take out Seattle . . . or there's the Yellowstone Caldera. That'd give you a chance to relieve pressure and maybe save the whole continent from a disaster."
celticdragonfly: "I'd like to see you tell an environmentalist that you're going to solve global warming by setting off a nuke in Yellowstone."
Tags: engineering
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