The discussions on Geoengineering Watch illustrate how this new anti-geoengineering platform, grounded on the premise of existing and ongoing climate manipulation, relates to broader hostilities towards experts and concerns about class inequality. We can expect these underlying tensions around inequality to grow under the current administration, thus potentially attracting new people to an anti-geoengineering movement. It’s possible that forming an opinion on geoengineering becomes not an impersonal assessment of a technology, but an identity position.
Commentary: A Response to “Five Solar Geoengineering Tropes That Have Outstayed Their Welcome” – Wil Burns
IN A NEW PIECE in the journal Earth Futures, Jesse Reynolds, Andy Parker and Peter Irvine take on what they characterize as “Five solar geoengineering tropes that have outstayed their welcome.” While I think it’s salutary to engage in an ongoing colloquy about the risks and benefits of solar radiation management (SRM) approaches, it will be my contention in this Comment that the article doesn’t wholly dispel many of the concerns outlined in the piece. Additionally, I believe it raises some additional issues that are ripe for debate as we continue to scrutinize the emerging field of climate geoengineering. In this Comment, I will address the authors’ take on three of these alleged “tropes.”
Who May Geoengineer: Self-defense, Civil Disobedience, and Revolution (Part Two) – Patrick Taylor Smith
Can geoengineering by a victim, low-emitting state meet the requirements necessary to be justified as civil disobedience?
The international human right to science and its application to geoengineering research and innovation- Kristin Barham & Anna-Maria Hubert
While many general human rights articulated in international law are of consequence for geoengineering research and development, the normative framework of the right to science has particular relevance. This right has the potential to enhance accountability, transparency and participation, particularly in addressing the socio-technical risks associated with early research and innovation processes.
Who May Geoengineer: Self-defense, Civil Disobedience, and Revolution (Part One) – Patrick Taylor Smith
Much of the discussion about the appropriateness or usefulness of geoengineering has relied upon a shared assumption about who might end up deploying these new tools- rich and powerful nations. But what if weak and less powerful nations deploy geoengineering to defend themselves against climate impacts?
Overall, taking a closer look at the non-ideal-theoretic reasons for climate engineering weakens the argument for SRM but strengthens the argument for CDR—especially if it were used in ways that prevent climate policy from making it harder for the global poor to lift themselves out of poverty.
In this brief video message, Simon Nicholson, Co-Director of the Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment, argues that after CoP 21 in Paris, we must have more honest assessment of goals and the tools available to us. This means, he argues, a need for open consideration of ideas that to this point have largely been seen…
The mismatch between the academic and popular conception of geoengineering can muddle the conversation on whether/how we should be pursuing geoengineering solutions to climate change. If academics and non-academics think geoengineering is two different things, productive conversation about appropriate policy and regulatory pathways for the various climate solutions that potentially fall under the geoengineering umbrella is unlikely to emerge.
Rather than initially categorizing strategies by their physical mechanism and then ask what they can do for us and how risky they are, we should instead start with the normative considerations as the foundation for our initial categorization.
There is a deeper set of conceptual arguments for splitting CDR and SRM that is entirely absent from Duncan McLaren’s argument.