“Stephen Schwartz knows as much about the effects of aerosols on climate change as anyone in the world, and he’s worried. He believes climate change is so massive an economic issue that we face costs “in the trillions if not quadrillions of dollars.” He thinks a Herculean effort and great sacrifice is required to get the world down to zero net increase in carbon dioxide concentrations, an effort he compares to that which the Allies undertook in their all-out war against Nazi Germany and Japan .
“Recall World War II, where everyone was making a sacrifice: gas rationing, tire rationing, no new car production, food rationing,” he explains. “I don’t think the people of the world are ready or prepared to make such a level of personal sacrifice. Perhaps when the consequences of climate change become more apparent that will change. But by that time, there will be irreversible changes in climate.”
“Few scientists speak with more conviction, or lay out the potential consequences of inaction more starkly. Yet Stephen Schwartz, senior scientist at Brookhaven National Laboratory, chief scientist of the Atmospheric Science Program of the United Stated Department of Energy, and author of the study some credit with spurring acid rain legislation in the 1990s, is also Al Gore’s worst nightmare. He knows the science on global warming is not settled, as Gore claims. He knows society has antidotes to carbon dioxide — aerosols — that could postpone the day of reckoning far into the future. And although he dreads a reliance on the aerosols, he knows respected scientists are pursuing aerosol-abatement strategies, and that they could be cost effective and environmentally benign.
Read the rest of the article by Lawrence Solomon in The Financial Post here.