That’s the solution championed in a June 11 USA Today story. The story focused on a news conference by Bill Gates at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., where he pledged a $300,000 grant and called the cloud whitening research “at best an insurance policy” to severe global warming.
According to the article, the “theory” behind cloud whitening is that whiter clouds are more reflexive and by spraying clouds with sea water, they’ll become even whiter and reflect the sun’s rays back into space.
To USA Today author Oren Dorell’s credit, he did include opponents’ views to this bizarre research. However, both opponents were from left-leaning environmental groups who proposed even more liberal and radical solutions:
“The solution to global warming is to reduce fossil fuel use and carbon dioxide production,” said Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth, who touted the traditional liberal solution.
Other “opponents,” such as Diana Bronson of ETC Group, placed the blame on the familiar liberal bogeymen: developed countries and corporations:
“Global warming was caused by ‘the scientific, corporate and political establishment of developed countries,’ ETC Group’s Diana Bronson says.
‘To now think that those same people will now correct the climate crisis and biosphere is a bit naïve.’”
Dorell saved the best for last, positioning a quote from Greenpeace research director Kert Davies at the very end of the article. While Davies was “worried” about the “unintended consequences” of the research, he did concede that there was a “reasonable use” for cloud whitening:
“’In an emergency situation during the summer when the ice cap is melting you might want to think about putting up a cloud,’ Davies says. ‘But as a global strategy it’s just a Band-Aid.’”