A Case for Climate Engineering (Boston Review Books)

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This book provides a clear and accessible overview of what the costs and risks might be, and how climate engineering might fit into a larger program for managing climate change.

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Keith's proposal is audacious at first, but in the course of this brief book he makes a convincing case. His chapter on ethics deftly summarises some of the competing moral claims Reading about proposals to alter the climate of an entire planet on purpose is dizzying. Yet scientists already talk of the dawning of a new geological age, the Anthropocene, named because humans, or rather, the industrial civilisation they have created, have become the main factor driving the evolution of Earth.

Accepting the concept of the Anthropocene means accepting that humans have the responsibility to find technological fixes for disasters they have created. But little progress has been made toward a process for rationally supervising such activity on a global scale. We need a more open discussion about a seemingly outlandish but real geopolitical risk: war over climate engineering.

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The Case For and Against Climate Engineering

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Industry Reviews Keith's proposal is audacious at first, but in the course of this brief book he makes a convincing case. In Stock. This Changes Everything Capitalism vs.

Climate A New Story. If solely cutting emissions was Plan A, solar geoengineering, he believes, could be one part of Plan B. We could get to preindustrial climate in two long human life times. But he argues that after decades during which very little progress has been made in reducing carbon emissions we must put this technology on the table and consider it responsibly.

Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines exploded, sending a layer of sulfuric acid into the atmosphere. It reduced the global temperature by 0. Keith wants to put 1 million tons of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere a year, which is an eighth of what was emitted by the Pinatubo explosion, and a small margin of the 50 million tons that are released by burning fossil fuels worldwide each year.

He thinks that amount will allow us to get the planet back to pre-industrial temperatures over then next several decades.

The question, rather, is should it be done. The challenge to creating a sulfur blanket of this magnitude is that it is basically impossible to test on a small scale.

The logistics of getting from testing to deployment are also socially, morally and politically complicated. Climate models, from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on down, show evidence that it will work. Starting an experiment in atmospheric change could be a slippery slope. Since the technology is cheap enough, small at-risk nations could deploy it, and if every country wanting to slow warming shot sulfur into the air without communicating, it could create significant cooling.

A Case for Climate Engineering | Boston Review

Keith is now focusing on the practical side: building models to run experiments, and coming up with designs for particles that might have a lower risk than sulfur dioxide. He says the first step to making his solar geoengineering scheme globally viable would be to establish a concerted U. During this multi-day event at the Smithsonian museums and the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, world-renowned experts will give exciting presentations on the future of your brain, body, lifestyle and planet.

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