Evaluating Geoengineering

Geoengineering is not now seriously incorporated into formal assessments of anthropogenic climate change (e.g., the IPCC). More specifically, (a) the word geoengineering is rarely used, (b) the methods defined here as geoengineering are generally not discussed (with the salient exception of biological sequestration), and finally, (c) the implications of deliberate planetary-scale environmental management are not seriously addressed. Where geoengineering is discussed, the focus is typically technical with scant consideration of broader implications such as the appropriate legal and political norms for decision-making and the distribution of risks and benefits. Here I review various framings for the assessment of geoengineering, but make no attempt at an overall synthesis.

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