A recent report from a group of environmental scientists, published in Nature, argues that cutting greenhouse emissions is much more expensive than another option we have to halt global warming: Setting of a mega-volcano that would coat atmosphere in nice, sun-blocking ash. According to an article on the report in the Telegraph:
They called for governments to establish a multimillion-pound fund for research into the simulated volcanoes and other solar-radiation management techniques for shielding the Earth against sunlight.
"The idea of deliberately manipulating Earth's energy balance to offset human-driven climate change strikes many as dangerous hubris," they wrote.
"Many scientists have argued against research on solar radiation management, saying that developing the capability to perform such tasks will reduce the political will to lower greenhouse gas emissions. We think that the risks of not doing research outweigh the risks of doing it."
They said the cost of solar radiation management was 100 times lower than the price tag for cutting emissions to achieve the same effect, raising the risk that small groups of nations or even rogue states could act alone.
They wrote: "It is plausible that, after exhausting other avenues to limit climate risks, such a nation might decide to begin a gradual, well-monitored programme of deployment, even without any international agreement on its regulation.
"In this case, one nation – which need not be a large and rich industrialised country – could seize the initiative on global climate, making it extremely difficult for other powers to restrain it."
So let me get this straight. "Rogue states" are going to get fed up with carbon taxes and instead create simulated volcanoes in order to save the environment? That's a . . . strange scenario. I like it though.