For what it is worth I've just had a paper published on CCS in Australia which 
pretty much agrees with Andrew's argument.​

It  basically seemed to allow various governments and the coal industry to 
defend the status quo.

This does not mean that it is its only function at all times, or that it is 
inherently impossible, but in Australia it has not been of any practical use in 
fighting greenhouse gas emissions.


From: <> on 
behalf of Ronal W. Larson <>
Sent: Thursday, 22 September 2016 8:45 AM
To: Andrew Lockley
Cc: Coffman, D'Maris; Geoengineering; Michael Hayes
Subject: Re: [geo] Re: Distinguishing morale hazard from moral hazard in 

Andrew, list and ccs

OK - I see where you are coming from.  I agree that the Paris Agreement did not 
go far enough. I agree with your final sentence - mitigation is nowhere as 
aggressive as is deserved.   But I can’t agree that too much reliance on CDR, 
and especially biochar, was the cause of the failure to set a goal of 1.5 
degrees vs 2 degrees. Rather, I feel the Paris Agreement paid too little 
attention, not too much, to CDR.  The French 4p1000 didn’t fail for lack of 
interest in mitigation by CDR enthusiasts.
It is still not clear to me who you think was prevaricating/lying.


On Sep 21, 2016, at 10:34 AM, Andrew Lockley 
<<>> wrote:


You need only look at the Paris Agreement for the ultimate example of 
prevarication. CDR is being used as "magical thinking" (not my words) to avoid 
near term mitigation. I think we can both agree that mitigation is limited, at 


On 21 Sep 2016 17:17, "Ronal W. Larson" 
<<>> wrote:
Andrew, list and ccs

The word “prevaricate” is strong - and I have not observed any lie within the 
biochar or any other CDR community.  Biochar practitioners and entrepreneurs 
are focussed on fixing a huge soil problem - that just happens to work, without 
conflict, for excess atmospheric carbon.  I can’t speak for other forms of CDR.

I agree with your last sentence - but that seems at odds with your first.

It would help to have an example of a group (no need for individuals) who you 
feel are lying and what they gain from the lies.  Are you referring to fossil 
fuel advocates?  To climate deniers?  To CDR advocates?   Do you feel the lie 
is that CDR is ready?  Even if some CDR advocates are lying (or mistaken or 
over-exuberant), it is not clear to me why/how that hurts mitigation.  I can 
see your argument for SRM, but not CDR.

Since I haven’t seen any CDR advocacy used to argue against mitigation, perhaps 
you can point us to something in print.


On Sep 21, 2016, at 3:00 AM, Andrew Lockley 
<<>> wrote:


What I'm saying is that CDR is being used to prevaricate on mitigation. That's 
simply an observation. I'm not speculating as to the specific motivations. 
Without the promise of CDR, we'd either have to accept our fate (2+C), or 
actually DO something.


On 21 Sep 2016 09:47, "Ronal W. Larson" 
<<>> wrote:
Andrew,  cc Michael and List:  (adding Professor Coffman, as a courtesy)

1.  Two questions:

a.  Could you expand on your below phrase ”This has kicked mitigation into the 
long grass.”    It is not clear to me whether this is a pro-CDR or con-CDR 
statement.  For me, biochar is a mitigation option as well as a CDR option.   I 
don’t know whether “long grass” is a good or bad place to be.   The word “This” 
would seem to be CDR-influence (a positive from your, Michael’s and my 
perspectives) - but ”kicked” seems negative.

b.   Could you expand in the second sentence on “pending”.   I take Michael’s 
interjection to be that there are several existing CDR approaches that are here 
today - not “pending”.   Michael uses the term “10 (+) years”,  but the 
anthropogenic Terra Preta soils of the Amazon go back more than two orders of 
magnitude further (6000 years by some accounts).  Michael did not include the 
term “BECCS” - which presumably many of us agree is not ready (although widely 
assumed to be needed).

2.  Thank you for the new terms “carelessness” and “malfeasance”.  These help 
me a lot in understanding the terms “morale” and “moral”.   I believe Michael 
is saying there are more than these two motivations at play here in the CDR 
world.  I agree.

3.  Re your last sentence on “significant” -  I think that can be true - 
especially because we can now seriously debate about CDR’s readiness.  Michael 
is asserting CDR is ready.  I agree.

Thanks for your prompt response to Michael’s note of concern.


On Sep 21, 2016, at 1:58 AM, Andrew Lockley 
<<>> wrote:


The influence of CDR technology is plain. It underpins the Paris Agreement. 
This has kicked mitigation into the long grass.  We will, pending CDR, be 
allowed to eat too much meat, waste too much food, use inefficient cars, and 
have poorly insulated buildings and homes. We will move goods too far in 
vehicles that are themselves too energy inefficient. We will continue to chop 
down forests and degrade soils.

Whether this is down to carelessness (Morale Hazard) or malfeasance (moral 
hazard) depends largely on the motives of those lobbying for such policies.

I remain of the opinion that our contribution to the debate is significant.


Andrew Lockley

On 21 Sep 2016 08:51, "Michael Hayes" 
<<>> wrote:
Critique: Distinguishing morale hazard from moral hazard in 


In the introduction to the paper ‘Distinguishing morale hazard from moral 
hazard in geoengineering’ (Andrew Lockley Independent scholar, D’Maris Coffman 
CPM, UCL Bartlett, London, UK-Environmental Law Review 2016, Vol. 18(3) 
194–204) the authors take the position that “It is therefore possible that the 
(sic) even the theoretical existence of geoengineering technologies results in 
a reduced urgency to cut emissions.”. This view is further expanded upon in the 
Discussion section's opening sentence: One of the key issues in geoengineering 
is the idea that the existence of techniques for climate change engineering 
represent what we would classify as a morale hazard, namely that they reduce 
the political will to cut carbon emissions, or that they might make individuals 
or society less inclined to change behaviours.

Such an opinion, although it is parroted by many, is simply a misleading red 
herring as a number of Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) technologies, inter alia, 
Advanced Weathering of Limestone, Biochar, Olivine, and Marine Biomass 
Production etc. have been largely available for vast scale deployment, or have 
been deployed, for around 10(+) years. Yet the theoretical, or even actual, 
existence of such CDR methods have had no discernible effect on the public's 
opinion of geoengineering or their behavior relative to it, one way or another. 
As such, this critique will take a close look at:

a) the scope of currently deployed/deployable CDR methods,

b) the reasons why the morale/moral hazard argument(s) are simply not 
applicable to a number of such CDR methods and or combinations of methods,

c) a few plausible reasons why so many authors, at both the peer reviewed level 
and media level, often find themselves making the conceptual mistakes 
reproduced within Mr. Lockley and Prof. Coffman’s work.

Also, this critique will not involve itself with the discussion on the 
difference and/or distinction between the morale and moral hazard concepts, 
relative to geoengineering, as there are no obviously striking, or even 
slightly meaningful, difference and/or distinction to be found between the 2 
hazards...within a number of the currently actionable CDR methods. Therefore, 
this critique is not primarily an effort at pointing out what is wrong with the 
paper as much as it is an effort to point out why Lockley and Coffman got it 

Finally, this critique will be posted in a 3 part series as the subjects to be 
covered are extensive in both volume and complexity.

Michael Hayes

On Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at 8:54:03 AM UTC-7, Andrew Lockley wrote:

Distinguishing morale hazard from moral hazard in geoengineering

Andrew Lockley
Independent scholar
D’Maris Coffman
CPM, UCL Bartlett, London, UK

Geoengineering is the deliberate modification of the climate system. It has 
been discussed as a technique to
counteract changes expected as a result of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). 
Speculation has occurred that the possibility of geoengineering will reduce or 
delay efforts to mitigate AGW. This possible delay or reduction in mitigation 
has been described as ‘moral hazard’ by various authors. We investigate the 
definitions and use of the term ‘moral hazard’, and the related (but 
significantly different) concept of ‘morale hazard’, in relevant law, economic 
and insurance literatures. We find that ‘moral hazard’ has been generally 
misapplied in discussions of geoengineering, which perhaps explains unexpected 
difficulties in detecting expected effects experimentally. We clarify relevant 
usage of the terms, identifying scenarios that can properly be described as 
moral hazard (malfeasance), and morale hazard (lack of caution or 
recklessness). We note generally the importance of correctly applying this 
when discussing geoengineering. In conclusion, we note that a proper 
consideration of the risks of both
moral and morale hazards allows us to easily segment framings for both 
geoengineering advocacy and the
advocate groups who rely on these framings. We suggest mnemonics for groups 
vulnerable to moral hazard
(Business as Usuals) and morale hazard (Chicken Littles) and suggest the 
development of an experimental
methodology for validating the distinction thus drawn.

Geoengineering, moral hazard, morale hazard, carbon dioxide removal, greenhouse 
gas removal, negative
emissions technology, solar radiation management (SRM)

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