Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Geopolitics of Geoengineering

Illustration by McKibillo. (Credit: Click to enlarge.
Does humanity’s tightening grip on the fate of nature portend new sources of global conflict?

More than a decade ago, Paul Crutzen, who won the 1995 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his research on the destruction of stratospheric ozone, popularized the term “Anthropocene” for Earth’s current geologic state.  One of the more radical extensions of his idea—that human activity now dominates the planet’s forests, oceans, freshwater networks, and ecosystems—is the controversial concept of geoengineering, deliberately tinkering with the climate to counteract global warming.  The logic is straightforward: if humans control the fate of natural systems, shouldn’t we use our technology to help save them from the risks of climate change, given that there’s little hope of cutting emissions enough to stop the warming trend?

The Geopolitics of Geoengineering

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