Geoengineering: New space for the local weather industrial advanced?

Out of masterresource

By Robert Bradley Jr.

“There are significant environmental, technical, and cost challenges in using carbon dioxide removal (CDR) at the scale required to significantly reduce global warming…. [that make it] It is unlikely that CDR could be implemented quickly enough or on a sufficient scale to completely avoid dangerous global warming in the near future.” (Pro, public letter, February 27, 2023)

“The speculative possibility of future solar geoengineering could become a powerful argument for industry lobbyists, climate deniers and some governments to delay decarbonization policies.” (Con, open letter: January 17, 2022)

It’s harsh, contradictory and hypocritical to be “green” as traditionally defined. I remember a comment in the 1970s stating that “a general frustration has been unleashed by the energy crisis: any solution to the problem seems to create enormous problems of its own”.

Unintended consequences of government intervention are a category unto themselves. From everyone’s point of view, today’s climate/energy policy has created many ecological sins.

Wind and sun litter the landscape with heavy infrastructure producing power at a fraction of rated capacity. There are well-documented problems with mining rare earths. There’s corporate nepotism and programs like carbon capture and storage that are greenwashing with taxpayer green. There is a climate elite jetting off to global climate conferences. And most recently, wind turbines built in sensitive (populated?) areas attracted civil disobedience from none other than Greta Thunberg.

There’s the biomass and biofuel industry, which could very well produce CO2-positive energy. Closed nuclear power plants promise more fossil fuel consumption, not less. Finally, the politics of less abundant, more expensive, and less reliable energy has pushed millions to burn wood and dung to earn their daily bread.

One has to wonder, as James Hansen once did, whether the whole anti-carbon movement is net positive and not net negative in terms of total emissions.


Geoengineering, a last-ditch stance of the (growing) climate industrial complex based on a climate crisis that doesn’t exist, is a growing area of ​​ecological tension. And it got a big boost yesterday. An open letter “from more than 60 natural and life scientists concerned with climate and climate impacts on the role of scientific research, including the central role it plays in effective governance,” begins as follows:

Given the severity of climate change, scientists and scientific bodies have recommended research into potential approaches to increasing the reflection of sunlight (or the release of longwave radiation) from the atmosphere, known as “solar radiation modification” (SRM), to slow climate warming and mitigate the climate impact. This research is particularly important to understanding its potential for a rapid response to climate change to reduce the dangers of projected global warming to humans and ecosystems over the next few decades, while society reduces greenhouse gas emissions and concentrations in the atmosphere.

Continuation, the letter

… reiterates the importance of pursuing responsible research to objectively assess the potential of SRM to reduce climate risk and impact, to understand and mitigate the risks of SRM approaches, and to identify the information required for governance. Although not addressed in this letter, any decision to actively use SRM would need to be preceded by work addressing the complex legal, ethical and political aspects of such a decision.

Naturally! Go slowly at first. But, as Milton Friedman says, beware of “the tyranny of the status quo” where the introduction of a new program (a qualitative change) leads to future debates about how much to increase its budget (quantitative change). The air conditioning industrial complex is looking for a new pole.

Just say no!

Expect a big backlash. Last year, the Solar Geoengineering Non-Use Agreement (SGNUA) cracked down on geoengineering. So-called solar radiation management or modification (SRM) technologies aimed at lowering global temperatures are “artificially interfering with our planet’s climate systems,” explained SGNUA. [1]

And this bad:

The speculative possibility of future solar geoengineering could become a powerful argument for industry lobbyists, climate deniers and some governments to delay decarbonization policies.

It’s hard to be green.


[1] This is the “deep ecology” view that led John Holdren and Paul Ehrlich to write in the mid-1970s:

[T]Here the notion that a man-made warming trend could cancel out a natural cooling trend can be of little consolation. Since the various factors driving the two trends do so by affecting different parts of the Earth’s intricate climate machinery, it is highly unlikely that the associated effects on circulation patterns would cancel each other out.

source: Ecosciences: Population, Resources, Environment (WH Freeman: 1977 [third edition]), P. 686.

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