Political perils of low-cost geoengineering

From ocean iron fertilization to stratospheric sulfur injection, there’s been a lot of geoengineering news in both the scientific literature and the public media lately- one of us is probably due to write a roundup of the most recent happenings!  In the meantime, Foreign Policy has a nice little discussion of some of the political issues surrounding the practice:
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/10/22/playing_god?page=full
The author invokes the term ‘free drivers’ (analogous to the idea of ‘free riders’) to highlight the potential for rogue actors (states, companies, or even individuals) to pursue low-cost geoengineering projects that, while potentially beneficial to them, might be detrimental to their neighbors in the short-term or have unforeseen long-term consequences.  A very timely piece for anyone that’s been following this story:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/19/science/earth/iron-dumping-experiment-in-pacific-alarms-marine-experts.html?_r=0

This last one is worth reading through to the end- apparently the promise of carbon emissions trading is already providing perverse incentives for ill-advised ecosystem manipulation schemes.

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2 Responses to Political perils of low-cost geoengineering

  1. Pingback: geoengineering news roundup | Energy and the Future

  2. Pingback: Assisted migration- ecosystem protection versus unintended consequences | Energy and the Future

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