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.
There are a number of reasons – even with a 1.5oC target – why I suggest we should not rush too quickly to disentangle CDR from the broader idea of geoengineering.
Is staying below a 2C rise in temperature is a realistic or fantastic target? There’s been talk about this lately, in Nature and on this forum. Beneath this question lies another question: Is there hope?
The ‘Lomborg gambit’ and why the allure of solar geoengineering must be resisted by the Paris negotiators – Prof John Shepherd CBE FRS and Andy Parker
Nothing we know about solar geoengineering should distract you from the task of agreeing deep and binding cuts in CO2 emissions, and effective support for adaptation to climate change. Ignore the siren calls of anyone who attempts another ‘Lomborg gambit’ by dangling solar geoengineering as an alternative to emissions cuts, and get on and agree the climate deal that we – and the planet – so desperately need.
Climate scientists have begun to calculate how we are doing on the 2C goal, and the math is a little frightening. Not only do we have little wiggle room in terms of how much carbon we can emit to have any certainty of staying under this limit, but it will be global actions in the next two decades that determine our fate.
The book’s strength is that it largely achieves these two potentially contradictory tasks. Morton delivers a utopian scenario for climate engineering while still giving enough attention to its possible pitfalls and missteps to reveal just how difficult such a path would be to craft in reality. Time and again he emphasizes the need for care, compassion and justice in in both the purposes and design of a climate geoengineering intervention.
My comment is meant to express a concern about how “climate engineering” is typically presented, initially at least, as set apart from other kinds of responses to climate change and even as raising “new” or “distinctive” ethical problems. I realise that this situation is changing somewhat, so to try to help it on its way, here is why I personally endorse a move away from talking about “climate engineering” in favour of talking about the many separate technologies that are currently herded together under that label. I realise this makes things rather messy, but I also think that messiness is a perennial feature of climate change politics.
In a brief phone chat recorded by the Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment as part of a new series, Dr. Daniel…
A talk by Holly J Buck – Why Climate Engineering and Sustainable Agriculture Need to Be Part of the Same Conversation
Holly J Buck, FCEA Faculty Fellow and PhD candidate at Cornell University gave a brief talk this afternoon on her recent work investigating the cultural, practical, and conversational binaries that imagine geoengineering as distinctly, problematically separate from agriculture. She argued that the false dichotomy between issues of food security, land reform, and progressive farming must be deconstructed and replaced with a language of cooperation.