Geoengineering: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?

  • A. Vallero D
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Some engineers and scientists recently have suggested that it would be prudent to consider engaging in geoengineering to mitigate global warming. Geoengineering differs from other methods for mitigating global warming because it involves a deliberate effort to affect the climate at a global scale. Although geoengineering is not a new idea, it has taken on added significance as a result of difficulties with implementing other proposals to mitigate climate change. While proponents of geoengineering admit that it can have significant risks for the environment and public health, many maintain that it is worth pursuing, given the failure of other means of mitigating global warming. Some environmental groups have voiced strong opposition to all forms of geoengineering. In this article, we examine arguments for and against geoengineering and discuss some policy options. We argue that specific geoengineering proposals should not be implemented until there is good evidence concerning their safety, efficacy, and feasibility, as well as a plan for oversight. International cooperation and public input should also be sought. Other methods for mitigating global warming should be aggressively pursued while geoengineering is under consideration. The promise of an engineering solution to global warming should not be used as an excuse to abandon or cut back current, climate mitigation efforts.




A. Vallero, D. (2013). Geoengineering: An Idea Whose Time Has Come? Journal of Earth Science & Climatic Change, 04(02).

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