A Big-Sky Plan to Cool the Planet

In an essay for the Wall Street Journal, Harvard University economists 
Gernot Wagner and Martin L. Weitzman write that “one thing has become 
abundantly clear” about solar engineering – “the costs of implementation 
would be relatively cheap – perhaps too cheap”. Their rough estimates 
suggest “the annual cost could amount to under $10bn”, and “such sums are 
hardly negligible, but in context, they start to look small.” But the 
difficulty in deploying solar geoengineering “would not be motivating 
countries to deploy aerosols but stopping them from doing too much too 
soon,” they warn. “Without international agreements, the country determined 
to do the most might just get its way”. “At best, [solar geoengineering] is 
a supplement to other efforts to combat climate change, and it’s an 
imperfect one at that – a drug that merely moderates dangerous symptoms,” 
they conclude. “The permanent solution is a regimen of diet and exercise”.

On Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at 1:54:12 AM UTC, Leon Di Marco wrote:
> A Big-Sky Plan to Cool the PlanetPumping aerosols into the stratosphere 
> may buy us more time, but it’s no substitute for cutting carbon 
> emissions—and we still don’t know enough to do it responsibly.
> By 
> Gernot Wagner and Martin L. Weitzman
> Feb. 16, 2018 12:36 p.m. ET
> Seriously addressing climate change means cutting carbon emissions and, 
> ultimately, reducing the carbon already in the atmosphere. There’s no way 
> around it. Another type of intervention, however, is increasingly garnering 
> attention: solar geoengineering, that is, cooling the planet by making it 
> reflect back more of the sun’s rays. It’s not a permanent solution to 
> climate change, and it carries worrisome environmental and political risks 
> of its own, but it’s an idea worth exploring.

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