Dangers of trying to set Earth's thermostat: Column
when we get to the point where burgeoning concentrations of greenhouse gases are causing undeniable catastrophes -- tornados, hurricanes, droughts, coastal flooding, wild fires, mass extinctions -- on a scale orders of magnitude larger than we are experiencing today, the temptation to seriously consider a technological fix will become irresistible to many.
What this means for us today is that we should put the mechanisms in place to deal with the serious governance challenges that geoengineering will present. No existing global institution is capable of deciding whether we as citizens of the planet should collectively assume the risk of a substantial geoengineering project, much less where to set the planet's thermostat.
Andrew Strauss is the associate dean for faculty research and development and a professor at Widener University School of Law in Delaware. William C.G. Burns is the associate director of the Energy Policy & Climate Program at Johns Hopkins University.