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Are Man-Made Tornadoes the Answer to Global Warming?

Tyler Hamilton, a journalist at the Toronto Star, reports on the fascinating ideas being put forth by a retired engineer named Louis Michaud. The 66-year-old Michaud believes it is possible to create and control full-scale tornadoes and harness their power as electricity. He claims the cost of energy generated by his tornadoes would be well below that from coal-powered plants.

As big as this idea might sound, the inventor actually has something much bigger in mind:

He says down the road, hundreds of vortex engines could be located in the ocean along the equator, where the warm tropical water would provide an endless source of energy.

Why would anyone do such a thing?

To cool the planet, Michaud says. Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are what prevent the sun’s heat from radiating back into space, he explains. A series of controlled tornadoes along the equator would carry that heat to the outer edges of the atmosphere, where it could more easily escape.

In other words, Michaud believes man-made tornadoes could function as exhaust systems for the planet, a massive air conditioner that could help manage global warming.

This is probably too good to be true, but all you need is one big idea like this to work. If that happens, all the gloom and doom and real economic sacrifice associated with global warming becomes a small footnote in the history books. Technology and human ingenuity have solved just about every problem we’ve faced so far; there is no obvious reason why global warming shouldn’t succumb as well.