Apologies for being too quick and conciliatory in my attempt to find common ground with Wil.
Also realize, for the record, I meant to agree with Wil in acknowledging that those advocating for SRM research can inadvertently come across at times as painting a future story in which non-SRM is unacceptable, and therefore come across as biased, I did not mean to suggest in any way that Andy or Pete were guilty of that, I was just agreeing that the discourse can at times come across that way (and I might point out that Wil is doing exactly the same thing, just with the opposite sign). Specific to Andy and Pete’s work, I don’t get how recognizing that a risk can be reduced constitutes advocacy of SRM. Ultimately we need to think seriously about all of the risks on both sides. Regarding my turn of phrase, best is probably to just delete it rather than over-think it. 1. I don’t think that the climate changes similar to what we are experiencing today being likely to trigger anyone justifying deploying SRM, no matter how much we know about SRM. That is, I don’t see anyone being faced with feeling pressure to decide today, or ever if climate change doesn’t get worse (which, of course, it will). 2. Yes, it is plausible that some mix of luck and a vast immediate change in policy then climate changes might be kept to a point where at least for my lifetime they won’t be too bad. I happen to think this is pretty unlikely, but my assessment of probability is irrelevant. If it becomes clear that we will stay below 2C without SRM, then maybe (depending on what a 2C world actually looks like) no-one ever thinks seriously about deploying SRM. 3. What I think is more likely is that some mix of (i) it is clear we won’t keep CO2 levels sufficiently low and (ii) climate damages are going to be much more substantial than they are today, is the trigger that causes “people” to take SRM more seriously. 4. So my guess would be “having to decide” has far more to do with what not-doing-SRM looks like than what doing-SRM looks like. 5. And, like 100% of other things in the world, there is no one actor who decides things. Maybe it goes through UNFCCC. Maybe it’s more analogous to multiple developed countries agreeing to put sanctions on Iran. Sure, it would be great if there was some nice consensus based approach where everyone in the world had their voice and participated and everyone came to a rational evidence-based agreement on how much to do and how, but I don’t think that’s the way much of anything gets done in the world, and don’t see why this would be any different. Or, for that matter, why we should wring our hands about that and say that if we can’t imagine a perfect governance system then we should throw out SRM. Bottom line, as Andy pointed out to me a few weeks ago, is that we try (or some of us do) on the physical-climate-impacts side to be clear about whether we’re comparing climate impacts with SRM to (i) the same temperature achieved with lower atmospheric CO2 or (ii) the same atmospheric CO2 with higher temperature. Both are interesting, but ONLY doing (i) suggests a framing of SRM as an alternative rather than a supplement. Same holds on the governance side. Sure, SRM governance looks really hard compared to current climate situation, but that isn’t necessarily the right comparison. Governance of climate changes *without* SRM might be even harder still, indeed, it may be that the easiest way to govern climate risks is to agree to use SRM. Which, ultimately, is what I suspect is most likely to trigger a decision to use SRM (rather than some dry drawn-out international discussion of 1.5 or 2C targets). Once one has passed the binary question of deploying or not deploying, then there’s more detail on how and what target, but at least we already have international experience on that sort of thing. (See, e.g., Paris agreement targets.) (Sorry for the long answer, but my last one was too short.) doug From: Oliver Morton [mailto:olivermor...@economist.com] Sent: Monday, March 12, 2018 3:42 PM To: Douglas MacMartin <dgm...@cornell.edu>; email@example.com Cc: Wil Burns <w...@feronia.org> Subject: Having to decide In his response to Wil Burns's post over the CDR group (which I hope is now being cross posted here) Doug MacMartin writes: >>>>we really need to mitigate and develop/deploy CDR at scale, and then if we >>>>work hard enough and we’re also lucky then we won’t be faced with having to >>>>decide about this. which is a turn of phrase I was interested by. What do people think it means, in this case, to "have to decide". if people, or states party, or the UN, or some other entity does not have to decide now, what change would mean that it would have to decide. (Note that this is separate from "not knowing enough to decide", though the two are obviously to some extent linked. If you have to know enough in order to decide, then its arguable there may never be a point when you have to decide. It is also clear that there is apint where you have to decide, you may have to make that decision without enough knowledge). I'd be interested in Doug's thoughts on this, but also those of others. ever o On 12 March 2018 at 12:08, Douglas MacMartin <dgm...@cornell.edu <mailto:dgm...@cornell.edu> > wrote: Wil, No offense, but I’m more gobsmacked by your response than anything in this! Two things: 1) Nowhere in the article, nor in any of my conversations, is there any suggestion consistent with “While folks e.g. Parker advocate SRM” . You’ve been involved in this debate long enough, you know perfectly well that Andy doesn’t advocate SRM, and indeed I’ve never heard a single person advocate doing it (though I know a couple of people who have at least said something of the form “if X was true then we should” where we all know that X isn’t true, typically “X” being “ignoring the sociopolitical concerns”; that’s as close to “advocate” as I’ve ever heard anyone get to, other than the Dalai Lama and Gingrich who were both woefully uninformed). Lots of us advocate doing research and thinking carefully about it, including Andy. (Nor do I think he used language like “obviate”, which to me suggests that you think he thinks the risk is zero, rather than what he actually wrote that there are ways to reduce the risk. Agree that judging how effectively one can reduce the risk is a challenge about which reasonable people will disagree, though arguing that it is possible to reduce the risk seems rather obvious to me.) 2) Directly related; the reason many of us advocate research and thinking carefully about it is because the future is scary no matter what. If you think implementing some limited amount of SRM, and having multiple nations capable of deploying is a “Rube Goldberg”, do you really think that it will be trivial to adjust to a 3 or 4 degree world with associated millennial-scale commitments to sea level rise etc? Yes, governance of SRM would be unprecedented, but so would governance of a future world without SRM. I think humility on both sides would be warranted; yes there are serious risks to consider for doing SRM, yes there are serious risks to consider for not doing SRM, we certainly don’t know the balance of risks today to say what “should” be chosen in the future because we don’t know either risk well enough, but regardless we aren’t the ones choosing anyway (for which I’m certainly glad). I will object to anyone on either side who thinks we already know everything we need to know to make a decision, and that includes both physical risks and societal risks. So I could equally well accuse you of insouciance when it comes to the risks associated with climate change. a. And specifically, I don’t agree that “risk of termination” is a show-stopper sufficient to argue that there are no circumstances under which we would ever deploy SRM, and I don’t agree that “risk of termination” is so trivially manageable that we can forget about it. Substitute any other risk, or “governance” or whatever you want, and my sentence would be roughly the same. b. I don’t even know how to assign the sign of applying the precautionary principle to SRM. Nor do I think anyone knows enough to know that yet. Bottom line is, I think we’re all in total agreement (you, me, and Andy, though I can’t speak for either of you) – we really need to mitigate and develop/deploy CDR at scale, and then if we work hard enough and we’re also lucky then we won’t be faced with having to decide about this. Just that folks like Andy or me aren’t sufficiently confident, and think we need to think carefully about it. doug From: carbondioxideremo...@googlegroups.com <mailto:carbondioxideremo...@googlegroups.com> [mailto:carbondioxideremo...@googlegroups.com <mailto:carbondioxideremo...@googlegroups.com> ] On Behalf Of Wil Burns Sent: Monday, March 12, 2018 12:43 AM To: Leon Di Marco <len2...@gmail.com <mailto:len2...@gmail.com> >; Carbon Dioxide Removal <carbondioxideremo...@googlegroups.com <mailto:carbondioxideremo...@googlegroups.com> > Subject: RE: [CDR] SRM and CDR - The risk of termination shock from solar geoengineering I am not sure why I’m still gobsmacked by Andy Parker’s insouciance when it comes to the risks associated with SRM approaches such as SAI, but I still am. A couple of thoughts about this piece: 1. It should be emphasized at the outset that that the potentially catastrophic implications of the termination/rebound effect (which I think were actually underplayed in the EF article) places an extremely high burden of proof on anyone who supports deployment of SAI if the precautionary principle/approach is to mean anything in the context of international environmental law, and it should. I don’t think this piece comes near to meeting that burden; 2. Parker, et al. argue that peak shaving, i.e. limited deployment of SRM technologies, might obviate the threats associated with the termination effect. Beyond the fact that this assertion is based on what remains extremely speculative modeling, it presumes two things: 1. The world community as a whole, without unilateral dissent, agrees as to what the “optimal” temperature should be over the course of the next 50-100 years, which is not likely to be true (Russia and Canada, for example, in less guarded moments, will admit that they believe that substantial increases in temperature may produce net benefits for them in terms of increases in agricultural productivity); and b. Given this reality, there’s a central authority with their hand on the thermostat (and this argument is also germane to the assertion that we could agree to a scheduled phase-out of SAI deployment). While folks e.g. Parker advocate SRM largely because of the feckless response of the world community to climate change, they indulge the fiction that this same community will now come together to agree to binding limits on the deployment of SAI, and that individual countries will cede sovereignty. That does not reflect my 35 years of experience in international negotiations associated with climate change; 3. Parker et al. also argue that a “belt and suspenders” approach to SAI deployment, i.e. having backup systems in place, would ensure that the termination effect did not occur. Again, this assumes a high level of coordination at the international level that is belied by climate politics to date. It also ignores a broader question, which is whether “termination” might occur as a consequence of the actual failure of SAI in the longer term. While we have some empirical evidence from volcanic events, e.g. Pinatubo, injection of sulfur into the stratosphere in the short term would exert a cooling effect, we do not know what happens with ongoing injections, and there’s some research that indicates that long-term bio-geochemical feedbacks might severely denude the effectiveness of said approach, creating a “natural” termination effect; 4. And, finally, it needs to be emphasized that large-scale deployment of an SAI approach would require governance (including the Rube Goldberg approach advocated here by Parker, et al, i.e. peak shaving, back-up systems, etc.) for CENTURIES or perhaps a MILLENNIUM. As Marcia McNutt suggested a few years ago, such governance architecture would be unprecedented in the history of mankind. wil Dr. Wil Burns Co-Executive Director, Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment, School of International Service, American University <tel:650.281.9126> 650.281.9126 | <mailto:w...@feronia.org> w...@feronia.org | <http://www.ceassessment.org/> http://www.ceassessment.org | Skype: <https://webapp.wisestamp.com/sig_iframe?origin=outlook&signature_id=4628507532722176&t=0.7800051230821168> wil.burns | 2650 Haste St <https://maps.google.com/?q=2650+Haste+St&entry=gmail&source=g> ., Towle Hall #G07, Berkeley, CA 94720| View my research on my SSRN Author page: <http://ssrn.com/author=240348> http://ssrn.com/author=240348 <http://www.linkedin.com/in/drburns/> <http://twitter.com/wil_burns> From: carbondioxideremo...@googlegroups.com <mailto:carbondioxideremo...@googlegroups.com> [mailto:carbondioxideremo...@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Leon Di Marco Sent: Sunday, March 11, 2018 6:10 PM To: Carbon Dioxide Removal <carbondioxideremo...@googlegroups.com <mailto:carbondioxideremo...@googlegroups.com> > Subject: [CDR] SRM and CDR - The risk of termination shock from solar geoengineering https://www.carbonbrief.org/solar-geoengineering-risk-termination-shock-overplayed-study <https://www.carbonbrief.org/category/science/temperature/geoengineering> GEOENGINEERING 12 March 2018 0:01 Solar geoengineering: Risk of ‘termination shock’ overplayed, study says The policy options put forward in the paper do not require decision-makers to “behave with perfect rationality”, the authors note, but that they “must just avoid wanton irrationality”. Although this may seem reasonable, says <http://www.envsci.rutgers.edu/~robock/> Prof Alan Robock of <https://newbrunswick.rutgers.edu/> Rutgers University, “unreasonable policy decisions are made all the time”. He asks: “Can we count on future political actors to be reasonable?” It is also worth remembering that the potential for termination shock is just one of many other potential risks and concerns with SRM, he tells Carbon Brief: “Even if termination shock were less likely, there are still many reasons why SRM would not be a robust policy option.” That said, Robock “completely agrees” with the last paragraph of the paper, which argues that the solution to global warming is mitigation and adaptation so that SRM is not necessary in the first place: “Our final conclusion is the most obvious and important. The best way to avoid termination would be to avoid a situation where a large amount of SRM would be needed to reduce committed climate risks. Strong action on mitigation would reduce the amount of SRM necessary to maintain a stable global temperature. The development of safe and scalable CO2 removal techniques could reduce the cooling needed from SRM after deployment, and strong adaptation investment would reduce the suffering from the residual climate impacts to which Earth is already committed.” Parker, A. and Irvine, P. J. (2018) The risk of termination shock from solar geoengineering, Earth’s Future, <http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2017EF000735/abstract> doi:10.1002/2017EF000735 -- You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Carbon Dioxide Removal" group. To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to carbondioxideremoval+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com <mailto:carbondioxideremoval+unsubscr...@googlegroups.com> . To post to this group, send email to carbondioxideremo...@googlegroups.com <mailto:carbondioxideremo...@googlegroups.com> . 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