This week, the Larsen C ice shelf broke away from Antarctica, setting a one trillion ton iceberg afloat in the Wedell Sea. While this event was natural and expected, scientists predict further calving events as temperatures rise, potentially unleashing several feet of sea level rise. We asked members of our Board of Advisors and other experts: Could proposed solar climate engineering technologies prevent or slow Arctic and Antarctic ice melt?
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.
We welcomed the response of Wil Burns to our recent article, “Five solar geoengineering tropes that have outstayed their welcome.” Ultimately, in his comments we have not found anything that refutes what we wrote. We remain convinced that the claims that we cited are unsupported by existing evidence, unlikely to occur, or greatly exaggerated.
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.”
In 2015 and 2016, a bill was introduced in the Rhode Island House of Representatives to regulate climate geoengineering — an attempt that caught many by surprise, as legislating a technology with global impacts on the state level is a novel approach. In this forum, science and technology policy experts and political scientists discuss this move: its drawbacks, merits, and lessons learned.
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.
The Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment (FCEA) at American University is pleased to announce the launch of a multi-year look at international governance pathways for Solar Radiation Management (SRM) technologies.
In this brief video message, Simon Nicholson, Co-Director of the Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment, argues that after CoP 21…
The advantages and disadvantages of solar geoengineering ought to be compared to each other using a cost-benefit analysis. While there has been much discussion about the trade-offs inherent in solar geoengineering, there has been surprisingly little quantitative, formal modeling of these trade-offs.