Startup says it’s started releasing particles into the atmosphere, aiming to change the climate

Startup says it’s started releasing particles into the atmosphere, aiming to change the climate

Startup says it's started releasing particles into the atmosphere, aiming to change the climate

“It’s morally wrong, in my view, for us not to do this – and to do it as quickly and safely as possible,” he says.

wildly premature

But dedicated experts in the field believe such efforts are extremely premature and could have the opposite effect of what Iseman expects.

“The current state of the science is not good enough…to either reject or accept, let alone implement” solar geoengineering, wrote Janos Pasztor, executive director of Carnegie Climate. Governance Initiative, which calls for oversight of geoengineering and other climate measures. altering technologies, whether by governments, international agreements or scientific bodies, in an e-mail. “Going ahead with implementation at this stage is a very bad idea,” he added, comparing it to Chinese scientist He Jiankui’s decision to use CRISPR to edit the DNA of embryos. while the scientific community was still debating the safety and ethics of such a system. step.

Shuchi Talati, a scholar-in-residence at American University who forms a nonprofit focused on solar geoengineering governance and justice, says Make Sunset’s actions could set back the science field, cut funding , cut government support for reliable research and speed up calls to restrict studies.

The company’s behavior plays on long-standing fears that a “rogue” actor with no particular knowledge of atmospheric science or technology could unilaterally choose climate geoengineering, without any consensus on whether s is acceptable to do – or what is appropriate. the global average temperature should be. That’s because it’s relatively cheap and technically simple to do, at least in a crude way.

David Victor, a political scientist at the University of California, San Diego, warned of such a scenario more than a decade ago, noting that a “Greenfinger, self-proclaimed protector of the planet…could force himself a lot of geo-engineering”. invoking the classic Goldfinger character from a 1964 James Bond film, best remembered for murdering a woman while painting her gold.

Some observers were quick to draw parallels between Make Sunsets and a decade-old incident in which an American contractor allegedly poured hundreds of tons of iron sulfate into the ocean, in an effort to cause a bloom of plankton that could help salmon populations and suck up carbon. atmospheric dioxide. Critics say he violated international restrictions on so-called iron fertilization, which have been partly inspired by a growing number of commercial offers to sell carbon credits for such work, and argue that it has subsequently delayed field research efforts.

Pasztor and others pointed out that Make Sunset’s efforts underscore the urgent need to establish broad oversight and clear rules to guide responsible geoengineering research, and help determine if or under what conditions there should be a social license to move forward with experiments or beyond. As the MIT Technology Review first reported, the Biden administration is developing a federal research plan that would guide how scientists conduct geoengineering studies.


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