I just saw this news that Statoil is to be allowed to drill holes in the bottom of the North Sea:
Now, oil companies (and that’s what Statoil is: it has nothing to do with statistics) are often vilified for being behind global warming, so it’s nice to see them trying to help solve the problem. I thought it was worth explaining how they’re going to do this: luckily last week I met an oil engineer who explained it all to me.
The basic problem is that the earth is absorbing more energy from the sun that it can radiate back out into space. Current approaches to dealing with this have been to try to reduce the amount absorbed, by reducing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. But Statoil are trying a different approach: they want to reduce the amount of energy reaching the earth. This can be done simply by reducing the surface area of the Earth. They will do this by, essentially, deflating the planet. The new bore holes are a vital part of this plan: they will drill through the earth’s crust (which, of course, its thinner in the depths of the sea) and extract liquids from the rock. Removing this volume of liquid will obviously cause the earth to shrink in size, and the liquids themselves will be treated thermodynamically and be safely vented off into the atmosphere (and hence into space). According to their calculations, this will reduce the amount of radiation hitting the earth’s atmosphere enough to off-set the current amount of warming.
So there you go: thanks to the quiet and under-appreciated work of Statoil, Shell, BP, Exxon etc. we will finally be able to stop and reverse climate change. Pints of Guinness all round!