Thursday, April 4, 2013

Undermining emissions mitigation (moral hazard) and Geoengineering costs

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

13. Undermining emissions mitigation. If humans perceive an easy technological fix to global warming that allows for “business as usual,” gathering the national (particularly in the United States and China) and international will to change consumption patterns and energy infrastructure will be even more difficult.[18]
This is the oldest and most persistent argument against geoengineering.

14. Cost. Advocates casually claim that it would not be too expensive to implement geoengineering solutions, but there have been no definitive cost studies, and estimates of large-scale government projects are almost always too low. (Boston’s “Big Dig” to reroute an interstate highway under the coastal city, one of humankind’s greatest engineering feats, is only one example that was years overdue and billions over budget.) 
Angel estimates that his scheme to launch reflective disks into orbit would cost “a few trillion dollars.”
 British economist Nicholas Stern’s calculation of the cost of climate change as a percentage of global GDP (roughly $9 trillion) is in the same ballpark; Angel’s estimate is also orders of magnitude greater than current global investment in renewable energy technology. 
Wouldn’t it be a safer and wiser investment for society to instead put that money in solar power, wind power, energy efficiency, and carbon sequestration?

[18] See for example Stephen H. Schneider,
Earth Systems: Engineering and Management,”
Nature, vol. 409, pp. 417–19, 421 (2001), and Ralph
J. Cicerone, “Geoengineering: Encouraging Research and Overseeing Implementation,” Climatic
Change, vol. 77, pp. 221–26 (2006).

Other resources:

Video: Earth Systems Engineering and Management

Brad Allenby, Arizona State University 10/09/2007


If you take as a given that humans now live on a geoengineered planet, then what is our responsibility for the future? 
Before discussing how to deal with Earth systems, Brad Allenby asks that we think carefully about the complexity of human systems, especially our tendency to generate far more complexity than we realize, and to assume "that we have a reasonable handle going forward and can therefore talk about (the future) with some degree of rationality."

The Big Dig: Learning from a Mega Project

By Virginia Greiman NASA

"The Big Dig is also famous for cost increases. Its initial estimated cost was $2.56 billion. Estimates increased to $7.74 billion in 1992, to $10.4 billion in 1994, and, finally, $14.8 billion in 2007—more than five times the original estimate"

Moral Hazard

 "a moral hazard is a situation where a party will have a tendency to take risks because the costs that could incur will not be felt by the party taking the risk. In other words, it is a tendency to be more willing to take a risk, knowing that the potential costs or burdens of taking such risk will be borne, in whole or in part, by others."

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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.