“It’s morally wrong, in my opinion, that we don’t do that,” he says. What is important is to “do it as quickly and safely as we can.”
But experts in the field think that these efforts are very premature and could have the opposite effect of what Iseman hopes.
“The current state of the science is not good enough … to reject, or to accept, let alone to implement,” Janos Pasztor, executive director of the Carnegie Climate Governance Initiative, wrote in an email. The initiative calls for oversight of geoengineering and other climate-altering technologies, whether by governments, international agreements or scientific bodies. “Moving forward with 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 the ethics of this type of embryos. step
Shuchi Talati, a scholar-in-residence at American University who is forming a nonprofit focused on governance and justice in solar geoengineering, says Make Sunset’s actions could set back the scientific field, reduce funding, diminish support from government to trust research and accelerate calls to restrict studies.
The company’s behavior plays into long-standing fears that a “channel” actor with no particular knowledge of atmospheric science or the implications of the technology could unilaterally opt for climate geoengineering, without any consensus on whether it is the right thing to do. -ho, or what the appropriate global average temperature should be. This is because it is relatively cheap and technically simple to make, at least in a crude way.
David Victor, a political scientist at the University of California, San Diego, warned of this scenario more than a decade ago. A “Greenfinger, self-proclaimed protector of the planet … could force a great deal of geoengineering on his own,” he said, invoking the Goldfinger character from a 1964 James Bond film, best remembered for murdering a woman by painting the its gold
Some observers were quick to draw parallels between Make Sunsets and a decade-old incident in which an American businessman dumped a hundred tons of iron sulfate into the ocean in an effort to spawn a plankton bloom that could help salmon populations and absorb carbon. dioxide from the atmosphere. Critics say it violated international restrictions on what is known as iron fertilization, which were inspired in part by a growing number of commercial proposals to sell carbon credits for such work. Some believe that it subsequently slowed down research efforts in the field.
Pasztor and others stressed that Make Sunset’s efforts underscore the urgent need to establish broad oversight and clear rules for responsible geoengineering research and help determine whether or under what conditions there should be a social license to move forward. with experiments or beyond. As first reported by the MIT Technology Review, the Biden administration is developing a federal research plan that would guide how scientists proceed with geoengineering studies.