smog.jpgIt’s remarkable that the U.S. is still dragging its feet at the U.N. conference on climate change.

The U.S. has refused to throw its weight behind stricter pollution controls until countries like China sign up, too. However, the U.S. economy is more advanced than China’s, and we’re still polluting more per capita than they are. So how do you poke U.S policy makers to take the first step?

Paul J. Crutzen, a Nobel laureate at Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Chemistry wanted to startle policy makers, so threw out a proposal to inject a haze of particles into the atmosphere, which would reflect the sun, and thereby cool the earth.

But its being taken seriously here in Silicon Valley. This weekend, NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field hosted a closed-door, high-level workshop on the global haze proposal and other ”geoengineering” ideas for fending off climate change, the above report says.

Indeed, it sounds a more feasible than the whopping $12.8 billion multi-government agreement to build an International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). The countries, including China and the U.S., have negotiated this for a decade, and it aims to fund research into whether nuclear fusion can help provide alternative energy. But a demo plant will only be ready by 2040, and even then, commercial application won’t have started. Hope they hire this 17-year-old from Michigan to help them get started.