Here are some news stories I wish I had seen on Earth Day:
NEW YORK – The United Nations announced today that the international climate negotiation originally scheduled for December in Copenhagen now will be held by conference call.
"Every part per million counts," UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in the announcement. "If tens of thousands of negotiators fly to Copenhagen ... well, you do the math."
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The International Society of Geo-Engineering Solutions to the Intractable Problem of Global Climate Change (ISGESIPGCC) announced today that it has abandoned plans to deploy giant mirrors in space, one of the profession's most promising answers to global warming.
An ISGESIPGCC spokesperson said two factors led to the decision.
The first is the recent announcement by NASA that 50 years of space exploration has left 28,000 "space objects" hovering above the Earth, ranging from active and inactive satellites to rocket parts and astronaut gloves. A collision of two satellites above Sibera last February created thousands more pieces of debris capable of damaging other satellites.
"Mirrors are breakable," the spokesperson noted. "It's doubtful any would survive constant collisions with space junk. Besides, every broken mirror would bring us seven more years of bad luck."
The second factor is that space mirrors are no longer necessary.
"The atmospheric effluvium is becoming dense enough that we may have found a geo-engineering solution by default," the spokesperson said. "Some of this junk – especially the shiny metal stuff -- already is reflecting sunlight back into space. The rest of it will soon create a cloud so thick that little sunlight will reach the surface of the Earth anyway."
LAS VEGAS – The owners of the Mirage Hotel have announced that in honor of Earth Day and in recognition of the urgency of global warming, they will begin emitting actual sulphur from their popular volcano on the Las Vegas Strip.
The ISGESIPGCC praised the decision as an "an excellent example of anthropogenic aerosol loading" and said it would seek federal funding for nationwide deployment of similar man-made volcanoes, since real volcanoes are "so damned unpredictable".
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite intense pressure from the powerful coal lobby, Congressional leaders today announced they are withdrawing all federal funding for research on carbon capture and sequestration from coal-fired power plants.
CCS is the still unperfected process of trapping carbon dioxide emissions from coal and burying them deep underground, where they would stay trapped safely for all time.
The unexpected decision follows a report from the National Academy of Sciences that CCS could result in "anthropogenic terrestrial flatulence" – the danger that despite our best efforts to hold them back, toxic gases would become so pressurized that they would escape from their deep-Earth storage sites, causing unpleasant if not fatal consequences for nearby communities.
"I don't know what Mother Earth would feel like, but I think I've experienced something like this personally," said one member of Congress. "I wouldn't wish it on my best friend."
Oh well. There's always next year.