New Scientist posts this article on the need for geoengineering research, which is noteworthy in that it discusses the "social tipping point" where society is coming to grips with the need to study geoengineering now.
IN A room in London late last year, a group of British politicians were grilling a selection of climate scientists on geoengineering - the notion that to save the planet from climate
change, we must artificially tweak its thermostat by firing fine dust
into the atmosphere to deflect the sun's rays, for instance, or perhaps
even by launching clouds of mirrors into space.
the scientists gave such a heretical idea short shrift. After all,
messing with the climate is exactly what got us into such trouble in
the first place. The politicians on the committee certainly seemed to
believe so. "It is not sensible, is it? It is not a serious suggestion?"
the question been posed a few years ago, most climate scientists would
have agreed. But the mood is changing. In the face of potentially
catastrophic climate change, the politicians and scientists all agreed
that since cuts to carbon emissions will likely fall short we need to
be exploring "Plan B". Climatologists have hit a "social tipping point"
says Tim Lenton of the University of East Anglia, UK.
The article also attempts to rank the various geoengineering techniques, but doesn't explain how the rankings are calculated. Considering that ocean iron fertilization has already had 20 years of research, it's probably much closer to readiness than any other technique. Also the cost of OIF is considerably less than other approaches.