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Some Very Bad Global Warming Solutions


This is DAY TO DAY. I'm Alex Chadwick.


Recently our president called upon us as individuals to cut down on our discretionary driving as a way to conserve gas in the wake of the hurricanes.

CHADWICK: Actress and DAY TO DAY contributor Annabelle Gurwitch has been thinking about global warming.

GURWITCH: Now if I'm not mistaken, there has been an actual measurable decrease in consumption. This got me thinking about what we, as a nation, could do to stem the effects of global warming. I believe that with each us of brainstorming, we can come up with some terrific out-of-the-box solutions. I mean, we are the nation that gave the world Google and Silly Putty, right? So although I have no measurable or, let's face it, any kind of background in science, I came up with some ideas. And I invited my friend Dr. Michael Rich--he's an astronomer at UCLA--to the studio to see if they hold any merit.

What about ocean screens made of Mylar? What we do is we get every quilting circle and church group in America to start making Mylar screens and sewing them together like quilt, and then we put them into the ocean, where they reflect the sun's rays and keep the water underneath cooler.

Dr. MICHAEL RICH (UCLA): Putting Mylar in the ocean would be a disastrous thing for ocean life. It would rapidly disintegrate and shred. It would look like fish. It would get consumed by all sorts of marine life and cause vast death and pollution.

GURWITCH: Next, in London, the Absolut Vodka Company recently opened an ice bar. The whole thing--the furniture, the walls--everything is ice. It's fantastic. What about, say, we apply this same technology and get huge ice sculptures, and we drop them in the ocean?

Dr. RICH: It takes a great deal of energy to make ice. The energy you would spend would result in the production of carbon dioxide.

GURWITCH: OK, next. I heard that there's a place in the ocean where oceans meet, I'm not sure which ones, but somewhere out there, where there's, like, four miles of floating garbage that just collects. What if we spray-paint all this garbage white?

Dr. RICH: It won't work for many reasons. I hate to think of the pollution effect of spray-painting all this garbage. It just--it's so horrifying as to not even--something I don't even want to think about.

GURWITCH: OK, what if every celebrity going to an awards show rode a bike to the awards show?

Dr. RICH: It would be great if more people got out of their cars and walked and biked. If there was a campaign to make SUVs socially unacceptable, that would help. But just having celebrities go to awards shows and be unable to dress fashionably, I think, would disappoint people, and it wouldn't make much of a difference.

GURWITCH: So, OK, my ideas were some of the worst scientific ideas he'd ever heard. But I'm not going to give up. Until I come up with a solution, I'm unplugging my computer and my blow dryer. I'll be in my office with my frizzy hair writing longhand.

CHADWICK: Writer and actress Annabelle Gurwitch.

If you have thoughts on how to end global warming or comments about something else you've heard on our show, write us. Visit our Web site, npr.org, and click on the `contact us' link.

DAY TO DAY returns in a moment. I'm Alex Chadwick. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Annabelle Gurwitch
Actress Annabelle Gurwitch is best known to television audiences from her years hosting the cult favorite Dinner and a Movie on TBS. She has appeared in numerous TV series and films, including Life With Mikey, Daddy Day Care, Seinfeld, Suddenly Susan, Charmed, and the remake of the Disney film The Shaggy Dog. Her film Melvin Goes to Dinner, directed by Bob Odenkirk, played on The Sundance Channel and was recently released on DVD.