Climate engineering – two views

I’d like to contrast two views of geo-engineering – of trying to secure a technical fix that would solve, or at least stem, significant climate change. Several ways of doing this are proposed, such as sucking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and burying it deep underground in empty aquifers. Or pumping up sulphates into the high atmosphere where they will reflect sunlight back to space – similar to when a volcano erupts.

View one:

A few months back I mentioned Clive Hamilton’s new book, Earthmasters. . Clive recently wrote this piece in the New York Times and gave this interview at Democracy Now.

View two:

Back in May I had a chance to hear David Keith speak. He is a climate scientist at Harvard and has a new book coming out with MIT Press that makes the case for climate engineering. In his view, the science is sound – so we know what will happen when we do certain things like put sulphates up in the atmosphere. But the solutions are imperfect, so we might not know all that happens. But that just means it is not a silver bullet. It is one part of our arsenal that cannot be avoided in public policy. Here is a talk Keith gave:

I bring up these two views because an article was recently published in Science that suggests sulphates are not as well understood as previously thought. Here is a lay summary of the article.

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