Saturday, December 20, 2014


Have climate activists underestimated the enterprise of  
Calgary's  Tarsandinistas?

There is more to Canadian enthusiasm for  geoengineering than carbon taxation  anxiety or  a desire to embrace global warming to escape the region's  Goddawful winters. 

Besides hosting Earth's largest tar sand deposit, the giant  Athabasca field,  Alberta boasts the world's sourest gas wells, and is awash in the inevitable by-product of high-sulfur oil & gas production: more sulfur.

Even where glaciers have ground the  Canadian Shield flat as a flapjack,  Athabascans do not lack for ski hills. The face of the great white north is pimpled with giant yellow piles of elemental sulfur from  gas and bitumen oil production  

Albertans tired of trying to export into a glutted global brimstone market where among the first to hail  Paul Crutzen's proposal to boost stratospheric albedo with megaton injections of aerosols at high latitudes, for his call to solve the problem of Anthropocene climate change has led to a plenum of schemes for spraying sulfur aloft using everything from artillery and air tankers to balloon-borne fire hoses stretching to the  stratosphere.

By far the cheapest of all these dicey schemes uses what  Alberta has in abundance at an ideal latitude for emulating the cooling effect of volcanoes. Sulfur dioxide clouds are the basis of geoengineering 101, and the corporate Pharaohs of the  Pitch Patch  produce enough sulfur to pile up a  Great Pyramid a year for several dynasties to come.

All carbon taxation activists need to deter geoengineering research is to persuade the Tarsandinista elite that they can instead achieve profitable immortality the old fashioned way!
Egyptian tourism is tanking as global temperatures and Islamist tempers rise, but the brutal summer heat is setting the stage for a takeover of the  King Tut Tourism franchise by a cooler country.  Canada could reap  Pharaonic profits by renaming the  Athabasca River the Black Nile and erecting a theme park featuring tastefully tawny full-size sulfur replicas of every pyramid and temple from Giza to  Abu Simbel.

Sulfur concrete is a mature technology- just add sand to molten brimstone and pour  like popsicles into obelisk molds.  When sulfur Sphinxes and Memnonic colossi can be banged out for a pittance, why blow a million dollars on a few minutes of space tourism when the same money can turn you into an instant  Ozymandias?

What's not to like about a forty foot  statue of yourself gazing out for eternity over the awestruck heads of Canadian Disney-goers!

If  Northumbrian coal barons, ( and the odd Earl ) can enlist earth art in the service of their polemics , why not the Great White North?