A Few of Obama's Favorite Things: Climate Geoengineering

Written by Jenny Small JudicialWatch.org


June 7, 2009
By: Jenny Small

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
Tall plastic nettles and light bouncing smidgens  
Daft climate practices dark in the wings
These are a few of Chief's favorite things.  

Obama's Assistant for Science and Technology, John Holdren, offers geo-engineering as a potential solution to the highly feared global warming crisis.  After an interview with the Associated Press,  John Holdren recoiled and claimed the Associated Press "hideously misrepresented" him and "[the] AP story focused on this minor point in the interview."  The story bristled Holdren to the point that he "may never talk to the press again."  Such a threat merely reaffirms his reputation for snubbing public discourse on science.   The crime against the sacrosanct Obamaite was a press article conveying Holdren's comments on geo-engineering.  

Back at the White House, Holdren attempted to separate his comments from Administration policy.  He noted that while he made it clear that his comments were his personal view, he had mentioned geo-engineering in White House discussions.  Given that the interview was in his professional capacity, that his self-proclaimed expertise is climate change, and that he admits to discussing geo-engineering with the White House, there is little room to equivocate.  The White House urged Holdren to withhold a letter to the editor "because [the White House Press Office] believe[s] that just keeps the story alive."  

Keeping the story out of the news allows the Obama administration to avoid transparency.  While the President may have floated lofty rhetoric on government transparency, his actions have all but matched his rhetoric (think about his FOIA memo and compare that to the White House Office of Administration claiming that the law does not govern them and Obama's "Open" government).  Geo-engineering may not be a topic President Obama wants to publicly discuss.  Notions of shooting particles in the atmosphere or creating artificial trees carry a range of implications; some that are not yet fully understood.  Experts call this dilemma "don't know squared."  In fact, geo-engineering may cause worse problems than it is supposed to solve.  For this reason, the scientific community has engaged several studies (NASA and EPA's will be covered in future blogs).  Many actual experts have criticized Holdren because "he has a crude and possibly inaccurate understanding of aerosol formation and effectiveness.  I don't expect all people at the senior policy level to be conversant with all aspects of these technologies, but his mixing up and confusion of these ideas concerns me..."  Geo-engineering may be a fantastic idea, but it could be catastrophic especially if Obama continues to place agenda before facts. 

- Jenny Small

Documents Uncovered

OSTP Climate Documents Part 1

OSTP Climate Documents Part 2

Related Reading:

Energy Secretary's White-Paint Proposal Puzzles Climate Change Experts

Tweak the Planet To Curb Warming? Not Yet

Fiddling with the Earth's Thermostat


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