What we really want is for people to be bogged down in endless discussion of what an ideal climate might be, so they never get around to actually trying to screw with the weather.
The Problem With Geoengineering: What if It Works?
OCT 3 2011, 6:02 PM ET
The postponement of a massive experiment is a chance to think about what would happen if we had the power to control the weather
A major experiment to use a one kilometer-long hose to pump water droplets into the atmosphere as a precursor to a large-scale geoengineering interventions has been postponed for six months. More than 50 groups, led by Canada’s ETC Group, had recently signed a letter condemning the field trial, calling it a “Trojan Hose” and imploring the British government to suspend it until an international agreement to govern geoengineering efforts has been reached. The letter read in part:
It is unacceptable for the UK government to sponsor – even chair – discussions at the [Convention on Biological Diversity] while simultaneously funding experiments and developing hardware for the deployment of stratospheric aerosols, one of the most controversial geoengineering technologies under discussion. This apparent conflict of interest will undermine the credibility of the UK, not only at the CBD, but also in other climate-related negotiations, notably at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).
That said, protecting the political process from these sorts of conflicts of interest is a lesser concern to geoengineering’s critics than the potential moral hazards and environmental damage. What happens if something goes wrong? What if efforts to right the planet’s climate result in famine or mass extinctions? (The Atlantic)