Friday, April 19, 2013

Control of the thermostat, moral authority and unexpected consequences

"academic arguments against research into GE have been erroneously premised on the possibility of future deployment when in truth this deployment already happened, even if unintended." OE

20 reasons why geoengineering may be a bad idea
ALAN ROBOCK Rutgers University

18. Control of the thermostat. Even if scientists could predict the behavior and environmental effects of a given geoengineering project, and political leaders could muster the public support and funding to implement it, how would the world agree on the optimal climate?

What if Russia wants it a couple of degrees warmer, and India a couple of degrees cooler?

Should global climate be reset to preindustrial temperature or kept constant at today’s reading?
Would it be possible to tailor the climate of each region of the planet independently without affecting the others?

If we proceed with geoengineering, will we provoke future climate wars?

19. Questions of moral authority. Ongoing global warming is the result of inadvertent climate modification.
Humans emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to heat and cool their homes; to grow, transport, and cook their food; to run their factories; and to travel—not intentionally, but as a byproduct of fossil fuel combustion.

But now that humans are aware of their effect on climate, do they have a moral right to continue emitting greenhouse gases?

Similarly, since scientists know that stratospheric aerosol injection, for example, might impact the ecosphere, do humans have a right to plow ahead regardless?

There’s no global agency to require an environmental impact statement for geoengineering.

So, how should humans judge how much climate control they may try?

20. Unexpected consequences. Scientists cannot possibly account for all of the complex climate interactions or predict all of the impacts of geoengineering.

Climate models are improving, but scientists are discovering that climate is changing more rapidly than they predicted, for example, the surprising and unprecedented extent to which Arctic sea ice melted during the summer of 2007.

Scientists may never have enough confidence that their theories will predict how well geoengineering systems can work.

With so much at stake, there is reason to worry about what we don’t know.

Other links

With so much at stake, there is reason to worry about what we don’t know.                                      
Global Climate Engineering: Who Controls the Thermostat?                                                                     
By Brandon Keim, WIRED October 2007

Geoengineering and Environmental Ethics                                                                                                      By: Dane Scott 2012 Nature Education                                                                                              By: Dane Scott 2012 Nature Education

Superfreaky: The Wild World of Geoengineering                                                                            Geoengineering will follow Murphy’s Law of Unintended Consequences: whatever can go wrong, will, and it’s probably something you didn’t think of.                                                                                            Roosevelt Institute, May 2011                                                                                                                    

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A #Geoengineering #Climate Issues blog - Geoingeniería by Oscar and Jocelyn Escobar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.Licencia Creative Commons
A #Geoengineering #Climate Issues blog por Oscar y Jocelyn Escobar se distribuye bajo una Licencia Creative Commons Atribución-NoComercial 4.0 Internacional.