Tuesday, 2 April 2013

The unintended consequences of meddling with the planet.

Unintended consequences are inevitable. This government has reduced the availability of legal aid. As people are unable to afford lawyers this is likely to lead to an increase in cases with litigants in person (people representing themselves). Judges have already warned that cases involving litigants in person take longer because so much has to be explained in open court. So, having saved money on legal aid the government will be forced to spend more money on the courts system to avoid substantial backlogs.

That’s minor compared to the potential consequences of something as enormous as a geo-engineering project to mitigate the effects of Climate Change.

I always suspected that geo-engineering might have unintended consequences, now there is scientific evidence to show that at least one type of geo-engineering could have dramatic unintended consequences. A scientist from the Met Office has modelled the effects of injecting aerosols into the atmosphere in an attempt to cool down the planet. He has incorporated new evidence from the effects of past volcanic eruptions. The results: introducing aerosols into the Northern hemisphere would probably cause drought in the Sahel region. This could possibly be mitigated by also injecting aerosols into the Southern hemisphere. However a side effect of this would be drought in North Eastern Brazil.

Catch 22 – and a classic example of why it’s not a good idea to meddle with something as complicated as the climate of the Earth.

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