A Little Hubris, A Huge Externality

     You say you’ve heard enough and read enough about the “threat” of “global warming” to numb you? Well, certain people want to numb you in quite another way:

     MIT Technology Review reported Saturday that a company called Make Sunsets has successfully launched weather balloons from Mexico that may have released sulfur particles into the atmosphere. Luke Iseman, the co-founder and CEO, claims that because climate change presents such an imminent threat, bizarre interventions like theirs are necessary:

     “It’s morally wrong, in my opinion, for us not to be doing this,” said Iseman. “What’s important is to do this as quickly and safely as we can.”

     Disturbingly, Make Sunsets made this attempt at solar geoengineering without informing the public or even attempting to engage scientists. Experts who spoke to MIT Technology Review uniformly condemned the move…

     Raw insanity, powered by an irrational and demonstrably counterfactual ideology. What brass Iseman has, to seek to inflict this on the world against all the dictates of reason, evidence, and appropriate caution! But he claims it would be “morally wrong” not to do it. In other words, he’s a fanatic.

     Let’s stipulate, solely for the sake of argument, that it’s not a grift of some sort. So: imagine that they succeed in markedly lowering average temperatures here in the temperate zone of Terrestrial climate. Imagine further that the consequences are dire: mass die-offs of innumerable species of fauna and flora. Would Luke Iseman and his colleagues admit that they’d made a mistake? After what sort of “persuasion?” And what restitution could they possibly make?

     Ideologues determined to inflict their ways on the rest of us are usually incapable of accepting their own fallibility. Their confidence in their positions is religious in nature: a faith, rather than a conviction born of evidence and study. We can see from this that not all faiths are harmless.

But wait: there’s more!

     Shuchi Talati, a scholar in residence at American University who is forming a nonprofit focused on governance and justice in solar geoengineering, says Make Sunset’s actions could set back the scientific field, reducing funding, dampening government support for trusted research, and accelerating calls to restrict studies.

     I added the emphasis. Imagine what horrors governments awarded a mandate to do such a thing would inflict on the world. Yet I have no doubt that major factions within our own government are smacking their lips over the prospects.

     The consequences of actions inflicted on those uninvolved in the decision to undertake them are called externalities. Such externalities are the principal argument for centralized decision making about such things: i.e., for governments to make such decisions. “Solar geoengineering” would produce the ultimate negative externality upon hapless Mankind. Yet as Iseman attempts it, Talati and others demand that governments be involved in it. Pray that they come to their senses before they do irreparable harm – and that no government anywhere is allowed to take a hand in the monstrous thing.

1 comment

    • Carlos the Jackal on December 27, 2022 at 4:30 PM

    Same people who said it’s “morally wrong” to be anti-vax.
    These people need to be put in a padded room, heavily dosed, and kept away from the rest of us who just want to live our fucking lives.

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