Tech

The startup says it has begun emitting particles into the atmosphere to change the climate.

“In my opinion, it is immoral if we do not do this – and do it as quickly and safely as possible,” he says.

wildly premature

But dedicated experts in the field believe that such an effort is highly premature and could have the opposite effect that Iseman expected.

“The current state of science is not enough … to reject or accept, let alone implement,” solar geoengineering, wrote Janos Pasztor, executive director Carnegie climate change initiative, which calls for oversight of geoengineering and other climate-changing technologies, whether by governments, international agreements or scientific organizations, in an email. “Continuing 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 method. step.

Shuchi Talati, an American University research fellow who is building a nonprofit dedicated to governance and justice in solar geoengineering, says Make Sunset’s actions could set back the scientific arena by slashing funding, weakening government support for sound research, and heightening calls for restraint. research.

The company’s behavior plays on long-standing fears that a “rogue” with no special knowledge of atmospheric science or technology could unilaterally opt for climate geoengineering without any consensus as to whether it can be done – or what is appropriate. the global average temperature should be. This is because it is relatively cheap and technically simple, at least crudely.

David Victor, a political scientist at the University of California, San Diego, warned of such a scenario over a decade ago. noting that “Green Finger, the self-proclaimed protector of the planet…could do a lot of geoengineering work on his own,” referring to the classic 1964 James Bond character Goldfinger, who is best remembered for killing a woman by painting her in gold.

Some observers have been quick to draw parallels between Make Sunsets and ten year old incident in which the American businessman reportedly poured hundreds of tons of ferrous sulfate into the ocean to cause plankton blooms that could help salmon populations and absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Critics say it violated international restrictions on so-called iron fertilization, which are partly inspired due to the growing number of commercial offers to sell carbon credits for such work and claims that this has subsequently stalled research efforts in the field.

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


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