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:
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:
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.