In recent years, geoengineering has been increasingly mentioned as a viable technology and policy option to deal with climate hange. On the basis of my expertise in the governance of emerging technologies, I have been invited to some of these discussions. While geoengineering holds promise, there are numerous questions about the ethics of this kind of planet-level intervention, the health and ecosystem risks involved, and political and economic feasibility.
My involvement in the geoengineering discussion began in 2009, when I attended and gave a presentation at one of the first major scientific and policy conferences on the topic, at the famous Asilomar Conference Center in Monterey, CA. Later that year, my students and I produced three working papers for the US Government Accountability Office on the issue, on deliberative democratic engagement, the regulatory environment for ocean fertilization technologies, and the governance of geoengineering through the patent system. Since then, I have been invited to policy discussions convened by the Environmental Working Group and Harvard University to help develop frameworks to govern geoengineering technologies.