Monday, November 1, 2010

More Momentum for Geoengineering

Following on from yesterday's alternative perspective on the CBD moratorium (see "The Meaning of the Moratorium," 10/31), several other recent developments suggest that geoengineering is in fact gathering momentum among scientists and policymakers:
  • Last month, the London Convention/London Protocol on ocean dumping adopted an Assessment Framework to facilitate research on ocean fertilization (see "LC/LP Agrees on Ocean Fertilization AssessmentFramework," 10/19).
  • Last week, the co-chair of IPCC Working Group 1 (WG1) confirmed that the panel will formally consider geoengineering next year in preparation for the Fifth Assessment Report due in 2014. This follows multiple indications that the IPCC is growing more open to the idea of climate intervention (see "More Pachauri," 10/18).
  • The US House Committee on Science and Technology released a report calling for significantly greater research on geoengineering. This report was the result of a series of hearings the committee held on different aspects of climate engineering, in conjunction with a UK House of Commons inquiry.
  • In response to a request by Committee Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN), the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a comprehensive report titled "Climate Change: A Coordinated Strategy Could Focus Federal Geoengineering Research and Inform Governance Efforts."

This is hardly an exhaustive list, yet it underscores the extent to which geoengineering is gaining in legitimacy and credibility, and the speed with which this is occurring. Those who celebrate the new moratorium as a repudiation of geoengineering not only misread the CBD decision, but look past the mounting evidence that climate intervention is going mainstream.

1 comment:

  1. The GAO report of <2mil spent on direct GE research is interesting. Clearly a drop in the bucket, but, I believe it was the first direct federal investment.

    The recommendation for a coordination of GE specific public funding was good to read. Seeing that recommendation acted upon would be important.

    Thanks for posting the link.