I was rereading an old post and noticed a link to a science blog I’d forgotten about, AK’s Rambling Thoughts. It hasn’t been updated since 2011, but there was still stuff on the front page I either hadn’t read or had completely forgotten. The latest is a proposal to recreate the Azolla event, in which a layer of fresh water formed on top of salt water and an algae/fern symbiote spread like a very quickly spreading form of plant life.  In the process it sucked a lot of CO2 out of the atmosphere. As part of it he proposes the invention of a “viscoelastic layer” between the density of fresh & sea water. He deems this perfectly reasonable compared to recent advances in cell phone technology, and I imagine Kurzweil would agree. He also gets into seasteading near the end, but for reasons of creating viable cropland in a more overpopulated world rather than for the effects of adding competition to the “governance industry”.

You might point out the hubris of this sort of “high modernist” radically reconstructive plan (if you read James Scott), you might even agree with David Friedman that it’s not obvious a warmer world would be worse. To that I respond that it’s fun to think about nevertheless, that the optimum temperature may be warmer than it currently is but colder than it may end up being, and CO2 also causes things like acidification of the oceans. I find the idea of geo-engineering interesting because it could be done unilaterally and the much larger weight of public opinion marshalled in the pro-cold direction could shame actors (Canada & Russia perhaps) out of attempting to sabotage the project.

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