Thursday, April 22, 2010

Wally World.

Wally Broecker is our "global warming" hero! Wallace Smith Broecker '52 is the Newberry Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University and a scientist at Columbia's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. 
Broecker's areas of research include Pleistocene geochronology, radiocarbon dating and chemical oceanography, radioisotope distribution and human re-animation. This includes research on the biogeochemical cycles of the element carbon and on the record of climate change contained in polar ice and ocean sediments.

At Wheaton,  Wally goaded  J. Laurence Kulp and Paul Gast to further develop their silly atomic notions of local warming. Broecker then transferred to Columbia University.

In 1975, Dr. Broecker inadvertently coined the phrase global warming when he published a paper titled: “Climate Change: Are we on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming?” The New York Times described wally as geoengineering jedi. NYT went on to say ""It's Wally's world we just get to live in it, at least til the ozone kills you." Wally said, "If I only had a nickel for each time that fat-ass, Al Gore said 'global warming,' I'd be a rich man. At least you'd think I would have been smart enough to register the url, but my wife said 'nooo, don't waste our money'... RaH!"

Future Wheaton President, Dr. Phil said "Forget the Colson papers, let's freeze this guys brain and get it into the archives, preferably after he has gone to be with the Lord."

Today, Wally is calling on all governments far and wide to come together to invest in a strategy to save the planet called "scrubbing" Wally told the BBC that "roughly 20 million scrubbers would be needed to suck up all the carbon dioxide produced in the U.S. A grand total of 60 million would be needed worldwide to trap all carbon emissions; the entire scheme would cost $600 billion a year. Each scrubber would be 30 cubits long and 50 cubits in diameter and 300 cubits high and use a special gopher wood & plastic to capture CO2. The gas could be either pumped underground or liquefied under pressure." Each scrubber would also have enough room to house 2 endangered animals in case the liquified CO2 caused a flood.

Wally said current climate mitigation efforts are "just sort of crawling along at a slow pace." Sixty million may seem like a lot, he acknowledged, but, pointing out that the world produces 55 million cars a year, he says building that number over the next 3-4 decades should be feasible. One could argue that it took many decades -- more than 3-4 -- for automakers to optimize their assembly lines and reach such high figures (and that's with the whole world involved), so it remains to be seen if his holy vision pans out or gets scrubbed. Happy Earth Day.

(HT Nomination: D.F.)

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