Duct Tape Ways to Save the Earth

Popular Science features an article about five bizarre radical ways “serious scientists” are considering dealing with global warming if it turns out that our oh-so-sensible species can’t be bothered to stop burning fossil fuels:

Re-salting arctic waters with massive salty ice cubes? Stopping glaciers from thawing by wrapping them in insulating blankets? While these methods of preventing further environmental destruction may seem like schemes straight from the Wile E. Coyote handbook, many serious scientists are pursuing last-ditch contingency plans such as these for dealing with the effects of adverse climate change.

Among these ideas are spraying salt water over the Greenland ice sheet in winter, then melting it in spring, creating enough salinity in the Arctic to keep the ocean currents going. The plan’s architect says it’s not a good idea to start this now — “It’s not a plan B, it’s a plan D,” a last-ditch attempt to stave off disaster. Another concept includes growing genetically modified trees that will replace cheap rainforest wood and undercut the market.

 It’s all very scary, apocalyptic, and fascinating.


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