Well, maybe not quite yet, but perhaps geo-engineering may provide an alternative, vastly more cost-effective means of halting global warming, oops, climate change, than reducing carbon emissions.
On today’s GPS program, Fareed Zakaria spoke with Nathan Myhrvold (formerly Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft) about this and other projects his company Intellectual Ventures is presently investigating.
Steven Levitt has also suggested a similar geo-engineering approach to the problem in his latest book.
In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on the weekend, former State Department official Matthew Hoh provides a fairly compelling account of not only why the War in Afghanistan is doomed to fail, but how the American and NATO presence in the country is actually a destabilizing influence.
Somewhat related to this, Scott Taylor had an excellent piece in the Chronicle Herald yesterday, injecting a “dose of objective reality” into the notion that “nation building” in Kosovo has been a “success” — this of course is in the context of assertions made by some that the Balkan country was in many respects a better candidate for such an exercise than Afghanistan. Based on Taylor’s dismal assessment however, that certainly doesn’t bode well for the country that’s aptly been named the “graveyard of empires.”
And yet, I believe the AP has been reporting that all indications are that the Obama administration is still going to forge ahead with this insane folly, sending 20-40,000 more troops into the fray. I wonder though if they will be prepared to tell the American people that “victory” can probably never be achieved and a commitment to “nation building” would take at least ten years or more. At a cost of at least $1 billion per month that works out to an additional $120 billion.
Update: Another good discussion on Afghanistan featuring former Marine Corporal Jake Diliberto of Veterans for Rethinking Afghanistan on last night’s Larry King Live. Close attention should be paid to the remarks of Gen. Barry McCaffery about the long-term costs involved in prolonging the conflict.
An impossible task, of course, but this fascinating exchange between CNN’s Fareed Zakaria and noted author/war correspondent Tom Ricks analyzing one specific battle in detail sheds a great deal of light on the problem as a whole.
I know some people have difficulties with Zakaria for various reasons (a “shameless apologist for globalization” I believe one commenter here dismissively called him in the past), but I happen to find him one of the more reliably thoughtful and deeply insightful commenters on television at the moment. Certainly a refreshing change from the usual bunch of “shrieking midgets” (to borrow Garrison Keillor’s immortal expression) populating talk radio and cable news.