In this brief 16 minute discussion Dr. David Keith discusses the geoengineering technique of adding sulfuric acid (sulfates) or engineered particles to the atmosphere as possible mitigation technique if conservation, CO2 capture, and other mitigation strategies fail. Given the potential problems any geoengineering technique can create globally, he calls for open, honest debate on the pros and cons of geoengineering for mitigation.
The Oxford Geoengineering Programme website informs about geoengineering research:
"The Oxford Geoengineering Programme seeks to engage with society
about the issues associated with geoengineering and conduct research
into some of the proposed techniques. The programme does not advocate
implementing geoengineering, but it does advocate conducting research
into the social, ethical and technical aspects of geoengineering. This
research must be conducted in a transparent and socially informed
The website includes the Oxford Principles, proposed principles for
geoengineering research and deployment, which stipulates that
geoengineering should be "regulated as a public good" with transparent
research of methods and expected results, and extensive public
participation in any decision-making. http://www.geoengineering.ox.ac.uk/
The Ethics of Engineering Online Resource Center is an NSF-funded compendium of annotated online resources about the ethics of climate engineering, especially solar radiation management. http://www.umt.edu/ethics/resourcecenter/default.php
The James Martin Geoengineering Ethics Working Group has written a working paper of the ethics of geoengineering and includes a discussion about the ethical considerations about geoengineering, including unintended ecological consequences and moral hazard. The group invites comments on its working paper.
The questions guiding them: "Should we encourage or avoid large scale environmental manipulation, for example in order to reduce climate change? Measures such as carbon dioxide capture or ocean iron fertilisation have the potential to mitigate global warming, but what ethical issues are raised by these technologies? How should we take into account the potential risks of such measures, and how should they be weighed against the risks of inaction?"
The full paper can be accessed at: http://www.practicalethics.ox.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0013/21325/Ethics_of_Geoengineering_Working_Draft.pdf
This accessible article summarizes geoengineering methods and their risks.
Specter, M. (2012, May 14). The Climate Fixers: Is there a technological solution to global warming? The New Yorker. Retrieved from: http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/05/14/120514fa_fact_specter?printable=true¤tPage=all