UlanBatori wrote:What's wrong with just reflecting enough sunlight out until the atmosphere gets cooler? (i.e., reduce retained heat)
What's wrong indeed? How about carbon sequestering under the ocean - anything wrong with that?
What's wrong is this whole notion that we know the "ideal" temperature at which to maintain this planet, and that we need to implement some kind of global thermostat (at any cost - monetary or otherwise) to achieve and keep that "ideal" constant temperature.
I'm all for reducing pollution, curbing unnecessary consumption, not dumping artificial molecules (plastics) into the oceans, more efficient energy technologies, and all that. What scares me is these drastic ideas like artificially trapping billions of tons of carbon under the ocean, meddling with the solar influx, or climate engineering https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_engineering
As a thought experiment - if it were somehow proven tomorrow that this temperature rise is not due to humans, but due to the sun's variable energy output itself. Would we then feel compelled to curb the temperature rise? Just imagine that all the effects of temperature rise that are happening, or that we think will happen, will all happen - species going extinct (and other hitherto unknown species evolving), glaciers melting, sea levels rising, coral reefs bleaching, more hurricanes or earthquakes, land going underwater, water wars, food wars, sex-deprivation wars, whole countries or continents turning into desert and getting depopulated - but all of this is because of temperature rise (10 deg. C by the end of the century), which, however, is proven to be because of increased solar output.
Should we then meddle and curb it? Or is this natural rise okay, and should we only stop any rise due to human activity? It's not just a philosophical question, it has extremely practical implications for our role (or perceived role) on this planet.
I don't know the answer to the above question BTW.