Geoengineering at PRI's World Science Forum

By Chris Mooney | April 8, 2010 1:02 pm

There’s an intriguing geoengineering discussion going on here: PRI has brought in the economist Scott Barrett of Columbia, who thinks the economics of geoengineering are just going to be irresistable to most countries, especially when compared with the economics of carbon emissions cuts.

That’s a scary thought, although not exactly a surprising one. You can read Barrett’s academic paper on the topic here, and head over here to join in the dialogue it has occasioned.

Meanwhile, we’re finishing up the next Point of Inquiry, and I promise my intro isn’t as soapbox long this time. (Hey, I’m learning.) Eli Kintisch was a great guest, so tune in tomorrow….

CATEGORIZED UNDER: geoengineering, point of inquiry

Comments (3)

  1. Thanks for posting this!

  2. Charles Hollahan

    I listened to your show regarding geoengineering with half an ear, I was driving at the time, and I’m always shocked to find that bioengineering isn’t discussed as an alternative to building fake-trees and fertilizing the oceans.

    I’m aware of the fear that the public has regarding genetic engineering but the science has made great strides in the last ten years and the public has been able to swallow nukes as a deterrent even when Mutually Assured Destruction was the theme.

    Genetic engineering could get the world out of this mess once it’s taken seriously and major proportion of the leaders in the field get involved (I don’t mean Monsanto). Genetically-engineered crops could be producing ethanol, sequestering carbon, and eliminating other risks.

    I’m wary of engineers as arbiters of climate change – industry & engineers got us into this mess in the first place, let’s give others a chance to undo the problem. Changing our climate with mirrors in space is a bad idea. Let’s work on the problem down here on Earth first!

  3. Dark tent

    It’s really hard to believe that’s an “academic” paper.

    Barrett basically dismisses any possible negative costs associated with “geo-engineering” with the wave of his hand.

    the reality is that “geo-engineering” is (at best) an ill-defined hodgepodge of techniques whose negative environmental ramifications are largely unknown that this point.


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About Chris Mooney

Chris is a science and political journalist and commentator and the author of three books, including the New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science--dubbed "a landmark in contemporary political reporting" by and a "well-researched, closely argued and amply referenced indictment of the right wing's assault on science and scientists" by Scientific American--Storm World, and Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, co-authored by Sheril Kirshenbaum. They also write "The Intersection" blog together for Discover blogs. For a longer bio and contact information, see here.


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