It turns out we do, actually. And a few billion dollars is all it would take to deploy a version of solar-radiation management (SRM), one form of geoengineering. SRM uses stratospheric aerosol particles to shade the earth’s surface from incoming sunlight, thus lowering temperature. Whether or not it would be nice to ‘turn the dial’ on this atmospheric thermostat is another matter though.
To wrap our heads around how geoengineering works, we sat down with Granger Morgan, a Carnegie Mellon professor and director of the Center for Climate and Energy Decision Making. He discusses whether we should use geoengineering or not, the geopolitics behind the idea, and the ethical and moral dimensions of controlling the earth’s temperature. Above all, Morgan argues that we urgently need more scientific research to understand the possible side-effects of deploying geoengineering.
This interview was conducted by both Ellis and Daniel for the Generation Anthropocene podcast at Stanford University. Also, check out Ellis’ write-up for the interview on Grist: http://grist.org/climate-energy/geoengineering-expert-tinkering-with-the-climate-is-tempting-also-kind-of-insane/