Dienstag, 24. November 2015

Could Geoengineering safe our planet?

In general, there could be a possibility to stop climate warming with Geoengineering methods. It doesn’t matter whether with CDR or SRM they both give possible solutions. But at what price? Most of the solution are implicating high risks or uncertainties, because most solutions are just theories. Just a few scholars actually believe in Geoengineering and most of them just with the condition of more research. For example, Marchetti (1977) recommends the CO2 storage underground as a temporally solution in a worst-case scenario. In addition, some more scientists support this idea, but mostly with the condition of first trying to reduce CO2 in a ‘normal way’.
’Climate geoengineering is best considered as a potential complement to the mitigation of CO2 emissions, rather than as an alternative to it.’ (Lenton and Vaughan 2009:5556)

This represents quite well the general opinion to Geoengineering in the scientific world. Moreover, the idea of CDR is far more popular, than SRM, because of lower risks more abilities to control it. (Lenton and Vaughan 2009)
According to Keith (2000) there are not just natural risks, but social aspects as well. For example, the politics, it would be most likely that not every country wants to go with geoengineered solutions. Therefore, just a few would make a decision, which would affect everybody.  The questions of security, sovereignty and liability could lead to international conflicts. Furthermore, Keith (2000) underlines the problem of environmental ethnics. He stresses three main problems, which will arose by using Geoengineering.
1.     The problem of, if we do once, we will do it again.
2.     The problem of, rather than solve the causes, we are just trying to fix the problem.
3.     The problem of, playing god in system we just barely understand.
He ends his essay with a very good statement, which meaning I completely support.
Humanity may inevitably grow into active planetary management, yet we would be wise to begin with a renewed commitment to reduce our interference in natural systems rather than to act by balancing one interference with another.’ (Keith 2000: 280)

Another good and critical article, written by Robock (2008), gives 20 reasons why Geoengineering may be a bad idea, which is by the way the headline of the article as well. He concludes by warning about the risks of Geoengineering, but at the same time encourage more theoretical research in this area. Moreover, he sees the problem of increased atmospheric CO2 mainly in bad politics.
‘If global warming is a political problem more than it is a technical problem, it follows that we don’t need geoengineering to solve it.’ (Robock 2008: 18)

On account of that I am going to focus in my next post on the political opinion concerning Geoengineering. In particular find out the importance of this topic in current international environmental discussions like the upcoming COP21 conference in Paris. To conclude, most scholars are not convinced of the idea of Geoengineering. There is lack of knowledge and uncertainties, which should be filled with more theoretical research, before we try it on our environment.

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