Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Space cadets

I have been advised BBC news are advising Richard Branson is to help 'survey' the ionosphere to monitor climate change.

I have looked around on the BBC site for confirmation and have only found this, which leads to this, which seems to suggest this is unlikely. Possibly the claim, rather the story, was in error.

However I will repeat my reply, just in case this is another PR turned news item.

Whatever one's views of him, his views do get a fair amount of top billing and hence do count.

But I'm most interested in what he is actually saying and/or doing, and the impacts these words or actions may have.

Without seeing it I couldn't comment, but I am guessing this is more support for 'Virgin Galactic", whereby billionaires and their mates (and pliant media remoras) get to have a Kodak moment atop a column of greenhouse gasses.

I am kind of losing count of the attempted eco-mitigations for this jolly on the part of the empire and its media fanbase, but there was the pushing planes to the takeoff and the bio-747 on the ground. Then there was using this toy to 'transport' vital goods to war-torn outposts in a hurry. Now is it possible that instead of a G&T the next dot com whizz kid or noted physicist will get handed a straw and asked to '...check the extent of 'climate change', by sampling gases in the ionosphere.' as it arcs through.

Please tell me that is not being given screen space!

I don't know, but can't balloons do this? Or if not, unmanned, smaller, cheaper and a lot less polluting rockets?

An interesting ra-ra contrast to the 'science' behind test on Polar Bear hearing problems caused by noise from Global Warming.