Engineering Solar Radiation Is a Crazy Idea: A Debate
Geoengineering is an ambitious set of methods proposed by scientists to help mitigate the effects of climate change. And one type in particular—solar geoengineering—has been the subject of growing debate. Solar geoengineering involves several techniques, including injecting reflective particles into the stratosphere to reduce the amount of solar radiation and heat that reaches the Earth. This process, some scientists claim, could lower global temperatures and slow climate change. Solar geoengineering would be inexpensive and effective, supporters argue, and could both minimize glacier melt and lessen the intensity of tropical storms. Opponents, on the other hand, argue that solar geoengineering does not address the underlying issues of climate change and warn that it could alter weather systems or possibly even cool the planet too much. They also worry about oversight and control, noting that any country could implement solar geoengineering, perhaps triggering unintended consequences that could affect the entire planet. Is engineering solar radiation a viable technique? Or is it a crazy idea?