Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dalai Lama Willing to Look at Geoengineering

At a conference on ethics and the environment held at MIT last week, the Dalai Lama expressed openness toward geoengineering.  In the course of a panel discussion, a faculty member attacked climate engineering as poorly understood, risky, and potentially ineffective.  In response, the Dalai Lama warned against dismissing the technology prematurely, declaring "It is our responsibility to look."  One can only hope that such open-mindedness will inspire others to approach geoengineering with a greater degree of receptivity.

1 comment:

  1. The faculty member who "attacked" climate engineering at this conference was Penny Chisholm, a professor of biology at MIT, who lists as one of her main current interests "the ecological and policy dimensions of large-scale ocean fertilization".

    One part of her critique, although standard boilerplate environmental criticism of anything, i.e.: “We don’t understand enough, nor can we understand enough about our world, to be able to control it one parameter at a time,” is something anyone advocating geoengineering needs to think about. The other part of her critique, at least as reported by MIT News, was in part gibberish: “the risks are enormous, it is irreversible, and the gains are questionable.”

    The irreversible part wouldn't apply at all to cloud brightening for instance, and even sulphate addition to the stratosphere sounds very reversible compared to shoving 30 billion tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every year which is what civilization is doing at the moment....