24 December 2008

How to Destroy Any City On Earth With Mirror Balloons: Did This Idea Come From Pottersville or Bedford Falls?

The city-destroying idea is a variation of a weather-modification idea from J. Storrs Hall. Hall's idea was to use a large array of small floating mirror-balloons positioned in the stratosphere and oriented by GPS to reduce solar energy influx to Earth. Josh's intentions are completely honourable, in that he is hoping only to save the planet from global warming catastrophe. No one can blame him for wanting to save an entire planet occupied by many billions of sentient beings. Here is how his idea would work:
Here’s the basic idea for the machine: construct a small aerostat—a hydrogen balloon—at a guess an optimal size is somewhere between a millimeter and a centimeter in diameter. It has a very thin shell of diamond, maybe just a nanometer thick. It’s round, and it has inside it (and possibly extending outside, giving it the shape of the planet Saturn) an equatorial plane that is a mirror. If you squashed it flat, you would have a disc only a few nanometers thick. Although you could build such a balloon out of materials that we build balloons of now, it would not be economical for our purposes. Given that we can build these aerostats so that the total amount of material in one is actually very, very small, we can inflate them with hydrogen in such a way that they will float at an altitude of twenty miles or so—well into the stratosphere and above the weather and the jet streams.

Each aerostat contains a mirror, and also a control unit consisting of a radio receiver, computer, and GPS receiver. It has just barely enough power and fans or other actuators to tilt itself to a preferred orientation. That’s all it does—listens for commands on the radio, and tilts to an angle that is a function of its latitude and longitude. It’s not really a complicated machine.

Now make enough of them to cover the entire globe. For the centimeter size, you’d need about five quintillion of them. This is why nanotechnology makes a big difference. If you tried to cover the earth with something the total thickness of even a current-day party balloon, let’s say about 100 microns, you need on the order of 100 billion tonnes of material, but with the nano-engineered design, just a few nanometers thick, you only need about ten million tonnes. To compare that with the scope of current-day construction, ten million tonnes is roughly the amount of material that is used to make a hundred miles of freeway. This is an amount of material that current-day technology, much less nanotech, can handle straightforwardly.

...the radiative forcing associated with CO2 as a greenhouse gas, as generally mentioned in the theory of global warming, is on the order of one watt per square meter. The weather machine would allow direct control of a substantial fraction of the total insolation, on the order of a kilowatt per square meter—1000 times as much. _Nanodot _ via _ Instapundit
That much control over the total insolation of any region on Earth would put any location at the mercy of the controllers of the stratospheric mirror array. One could easily destroy the agricultural output of any country by blocking most of the sunlight to the food crops in the fields. The crops would die long before harvest time. Rivers and irrigation channels would freeze.

But imagine turning the mirrors to reflect far greater amounts of sunlight on a small area -- such as a city. We know that relatively small mirror arrays can easily heat water to steam in a solar thermal tower. Imagine focusing the sunlight meant for an entire continent onto just a few dozen or hundred square miles of metropolis. How long would it take to boil rivers, harbours, lakes and reservoirs? How long could a human survive exposed to such focused light? How long could any human structure survive before bursting into flames, exploding from its own heated vapour? Few human structures above ground could survive.It sounds like a plot from James Bond. Evil genius blackmails entire cities, countries, an entire planet, using climate weapon!

Josh is extremely creative and intelligent, but perhaps he did not get the memo that explains how the Earth has not warmed significantly for the past decade? It is likely that no one told him that the effects of the PDO and AMO far outweigh the effects of CO2 on Earth's climate. Probably no one cued him in on the shenanigans of James Hansen and Michael Mann in exaggerating human effects on the climate. Of course no one told him. There is no money in waiting to get better data. All the money is in Al Gore's carbon trading scheme, and in NASA GISS' budget and billion dollar research grants to "official climatology institutes" who are willing to toe the IPCC line of alarmism and carbon hysteria. Why would anyone bother to correct the misinformation, when doing so might cut off some of those billions in carbon trades, climate institute budgets, and research grants? No reason. Except perhaps a desire to save science from one of the biggest hoaxes in history.

Observing all the global hysteria over climate nothings would be enough to turn even the gentlest humanitarian into a brooding misanthrope. I certainly hope that never happens to J. Storrs Hall. Because Josh would make a very formidable misanthrope indeed. If he chose the dark side. Or the super-bright side, whichever suited the occasion.

H/T Brian Wang

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Blogger Snake Oil Baron said...

Dear world:

Give our industries several hundred billion dollars in bailout money or we will fry you all like ants under a magnifying glass.

The Coalition of Alleged Capitalists.

Wednesday, 24 December, 2008  
Blogger al fin said...

Don't tell me Al Gore hasn't considered this scheme.

Tuesday, 30 December, 2008  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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