Abstract: As concerns about the state of our global climate mount, geoengineering schemes that might moderate GHG-induced climate change are receiving increased scientific and public attention. In principle, such schemes could be of considerable utility for insuring global public welfare against highly uncertain climate change. In practice, however, the coupling of significant scientific uncertainty about these schemes, with familiar roadblocks to international cooperation on global climate issues, could easily prevent this utility from being realized. At the same time, serious national-level efforts to develop geoengineering technologies could further obstruct global efforts to achieve agreement on urgently needed carbon emission reductions. This talk will begin with an overview of the latest science underlying prominent geoengineering proposals, and then explore the variety of international coordination and political challenges likely to be associated with developing large-scale national and/or international geoengineering research programs.
Dr Jason J. Blackstock is a Research Scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Austria) and a Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (Canada). His research broadly explores the intersection of science and international affairs, with a current focus on scientific and socio-political implications of geoengineering technologies. Jason has received his Master of Physics (Edinburgh, 2001), his PhD in physics (Alberta, 2005), his Graduate Certificate in International Security (Stanford, 2006), and his Master of Public Administration (Harvard, 2008).