Thursday, October 21, 2010

NEWSFLASH: Indonesian Slash-And-Burn Farmers Actually Combating Global Warming with Geoengineering

Sumatra, Indonesia -- Global warming is often hailed as one of the world's biggest crises of today, but that is not stopping local farmers from playing their part in fighting this international problem.

Last week, slash-and-burn farmers in Sumatra and Kalimantan once again started burning large areas of tropical rainforest, in a centuries-old tradition aimed at combating global warming.

"It's a legitimate technique called 'geoengineering', and it will change the world," Wakarno Suparputra said yesterday, on the grounds of his family's farmstead in southern Sumatra. Suparputra is the chairman of Indonesian Agriculture for Climate Change (IACC), an organisation renowned for using radical techniques to reverse the effects of global warming.

"The science is sound," he explained. "Burning these significant amounts of organic matter releases millions of kilotons of sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere. This gas transforms into sulphur dioxide droplets, an aerosol which reflects sunlight, and will eventually lead to global cooling."

"It also has the unfortuante side effect of creating hundreds of hectares of fertile farmland, and we are taking measures to control its spread by using them in the production of large quanties of crop," he commented.

Similar solar radiation techniques have previously been employed by The Krakatoan Initiative, a group of volcanologists who believe that increasing the frequency if volcanic eruptions would also contribute to lower average global temperatures.

"Nature has been doing this for thousands of years," said Dr Petrasiva Widjaya, a top scientist from the Initiative. "Historically, large volcanic eruptions have cause discernable global cooling. Mount Pinabuto's eruption in 1991 caused global temperatures to fall by 0.5-0.6°C, due to the huge amount of volcanic silica thrown into the upper atmosphere. The slash-and-burn technique is really just based on the same principle."

Mainstream environmentalists, however, are in an uproar over the drastic measures employed by the IACC, with one even calling it "the worst case of 'paving the road to hell' in the last decade". They are expressing outrage at the numerous negative side effects if the forest fires, the least of which is the large haze cloud which has drifted over the Malaysian peninsula, causing an increase in the risk of asthma and other breathing-related ailments.

"Not only are they destroying the habitats of thousands of species, they are increasing the likelyhood of acid rain, as well as thinning the ozone layer," fumed conservationist Peter Hartono at a press conference yesterday.

But Suparputra is adamant that his methods will save the world. "The western countries are still sitting on their hands with regards to climate change," he says, "and it is about time someone stood up to make a difference."

"At least this makes more sense than that Peruvian guy who wants to paint his mountain white," Suparputra added.

Man, the haze is really bad here.

First off, please don't take this the wrong way. This article is a work of fiction, and should be treated as such. It was an attempt to write a satirical news article a la The Onion, but it didn't turn out quite so satirical and not nearly as funny. You might learn a couple of things from it though...

1. Geoengineering
2. Stratospheric sulphur aerosols
3. Krakatoa
4. Peruvian Andes Whitewashed

I really hope you can sort the fact from fiction.

This is
The Edna Man
for E-DNA news. Goodnight.

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