California Politicians Ban Test of Sprayed Seawater That Might Reverse Global Warming

Some environmentalists are only willing to cool the planet by the pain of less consumption.

(p. A14) Elected leaders in Alameda, Calif., voted early on Wednesday [June 5, 2024] to stop scientists from testing a device that might one day be used to artificially cool the planet, overruling city staff members who had found the experiment posed no danger.

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The test involved spraying tiny sea-salt particles across the flight deck of a decommissioned aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. Hornet, docked in Alameda in San Francisco Bay. Versions of that device could eventually be used to spray the material skyward, making clouds brighter so that they reflect more sunlight away from Earth. Scientists say that could help to cool the planet and to fight the effects of global warming.

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“The chemical components of the saltwater solution (which is similar to seawater) being sprayed are naturally occurring in the environment,” the report said. Staff recommended that the City Council allow the experiment to continue, . . .

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Some environmentalists oppose research aimed at so-called climate intervention, also known as solar geoengineering. They argue that such technology carries the risk of unintended consequences, and also takes money and attention away from efforts to reduce the use of fossil fuels, the burning of which is the underlying cause of climate change.

For the full story see:

Soumya Karlamangla and Christopher Flavelle. “Leaders in California City Halt Cloud-Brightening Test.” The New York Times (Thursday, June 6, 2024): A14.

(Note: ellipses, and bracketed date, added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date June 5, 2024, and has the title “California City Leaders End Cloud-Brightening Test, Overruling Staff.”)

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