A Talk By David Morrow – Is it permissible to research solar climate engineering

First time here?  Read our "what is climate engineering" page.

October 19, 2015

David Morrow, in a tightly constructed talk at American University on October 8, examines the arguments for and against a modest solar radiation management (SRM) research agenda, and concludes that further research into SRM is morally permissible.

The talk demands close viewing and consideration. Dr. Morrow walks carefully through the main arguments against support for SRM research – moral hazard, slippery slope, un-governability, and “inherent immorality” – and offers a careful weighing of the strengths of those contentions against what he terms the “core argument” in favor of SRM research, namely that SRM should be examined as a potentially valuable component of a portfolio of responses to climate change. His conclusions are particularly important, as he calls for support for a research agenda that is deeply informed by, and responsive to, the philosophical criticisms looked at in his talk.

The Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment is pleased to have Dr. Morrow as a scholar in residence this academic year. Dr. Morrow’s views are his own, presented here by FCEA to prompt deeper and more informed consideration of climate engineering options.

Find slides from David’s talk here.

  • Mike Ohlinger

    GEO kills everything!

  • Terrilee

    Where’s the video – ?

  • Rosemary Jones

    COP21 represents the views of scientists who are not thinking about the massive involvement of people worldwide in re-glaciation, and road and roof whitening, that is spray painting ice bereft rock adjacent to dwindling glaciers with solar reflective pain, and also most roofs and many rural roads.

    This is the only entirely safe geoengineering because, in the case of re-glaciation, it bio mimics what was there before, and in the case of tarmac and tiling, replaces the dark with the light and in this way veers towards equalizing what was unequal.

    The Royal Academy 2009 paper suggests geoengineering is worth investigating and not worth investigating, and the UNFCCC Secretariat omits sustaining ice from the official definition of mitigation. The Scientific Establishment is behind this and definitely adheres to it, and to the extent, not so long ago, a Cambridge University Professor refuted research showing that about half of present annual warming is caused by loss of reflectivity. He said that was a prediction. Imagine.

    The Secretariat probably think that we would all start burning carbon at even greater rates if we knew there was a different way out, but there is not enough time for such a kindergarten view of life, not enough time to solely focus on emission reduction.

    I cannot find SRM on the COP 21 Agenda, but perhaps it is there but not obvious. Surely, a group of people locked together in a viewpoint based a lot on reports which contradict themselves should not be allowed to walk us all into oblivion ?

    As for UNEP CTCN, how come only affiliated inventors are given a hearing ?