I need to call my broker and get in on some Arm&Hammer stock, because, according to Steve Levitt, we're going to need a lot of base:

Of course, ocean acidification is an import issue. Now, there are ways to deal with ocean acidification, right, it's actually, that's actually, we know exactly how to un-acidifiy the oceans, is to pour a bunch of base into it, so, so if that turns out to be an incredibly big problem, then we can deal with that.

What's going on here is that Levitt is trying to defend is claim that we don't have to worry about CO2 levels as we tackle global warming. One of the potential effects of high CO2 in the atmosphere is acidification of the oceans. But if you believe Levitt, we don't have to worry about ocean acidification because we already have the solution: baking soda. In large quantities, hauled out to sea on giant boats. (OK, to be fair, Levitt doesn't specify what base to use, and whether we'll use boats or a fleet of C-17 Globemasters.)

This reminds me of another quip made about Levitt's enthusiastic embrace of extreme geoengineering solutions for climate change:

If you find yourself writing, in all seriousness, as a practical proposal, the phrase "pumping large quantities of sulphur dioxide into the Earth’s stratosphere through an 18-mile-long hose, held up by helium balloons", it is probably time to take a step back and ask yourself if something has gone a little bit wrong with your life.

(Go here to hear Levitt's statement, on the Diane Rehm show, at about 20 minutes in. Hat tip tp the CPR Blog.)
UPDATE: For a little more on the science behind some of the geoengineering ideas, check out Ars Technica's Nobel Intent.

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