Geoengineering and Profit

The sudden interest in geoengineering has come about because many view it as a great way to fix climate change while combating political policies and maintaining a somewhat normal way of life for most citizens. As many in America are aware of, people prefer convenience to active change. It also provides a way to divert focus away from why climate change is caused to what needs to be done. I would say geoengineering is a techno-fix because it could potentially cause more harm than good. As mentioned in the video and in the Hamilton paper, this techno-fix arises from the fact that governments are unwilling to change themselves and social expectations. Rather than dealing with climate change head-on, it’s easier to just release particles in the air to absorb carbon emissions to appeal to both those who are environmentalists and those who benefit off of carbon emissions. In the end, this method can actually cause more harm to the environment.

Geoengineering I believe isn’t that viable of a solution for climate change because it doesn’t help reduce with the cutting of emissions. According to the Keith article, the vast majority of those who support this solution openly oppose cutting emissions. The research done for this solution is mostly in favor of companies that benefit off of the burning of fossil fuels while seeming like they are on the side of the people. In the end, profit is what’s driving the push for research into solar geoengineering, not the desire to slow down carbon emissions.

One thought on “Geoengineering and Profit

  1. You made a very insightful point at the end about how profit is driving force behind solar geoengineering research. Humans have the remarkable ability to criticize the government, mega corps, other countries like China or Larry down the street with his big gas guzzling truck, but at the same time refusing to alter our own behavior on an individual level. Whether it be switching to an electric vehicle, recycling, reducing single use-plastics, buying in-season produce carpooling or taking the bus – we may make small changes here and there, but we are still very reluctant to give up our nice things. The entire world is going to have to take some extremely aggressive political action in order to incentivize the switch to cleaner energy and lifestyle practices both on a corporate and individual level.


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