Whose Hand Controls the Global Thermostat?
A good report here, from the Economist, on a recent geoengineering summit in Asilomar, Calif. (which, unsurprisingly, had its detractors before it was ever held). The article’s final paragraph gets at something we’ve touched on before, in SuperFreakonomics and on this blog: that if global warming gets bad enough to require a geoengineering intervention, the actual science may well not be the hardest part:
Producing plausible policies and ways for the public to have a say on them will be hard — harder, perhaps, than the practical problem of coming up with ways to suck up a bit of carbon or reduce incoming sunshine. As Andrew Mathews, an anthropologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, puts it, it is not just a matter of constructing a switch, it is a matter of constructing a hand you trust to flip it.