Harvard's Solar Geoengineering Research Program




  • Research lacks support, political
  • US vs. China points of view: see the same science / have different goals
  • Can it be used as a weapon? No


  • Clear that geoeng is not an alternative to mitigation and adaptation
  • "When used in moderation" and combined with emission cuts, has the potential to reduce worst impacts of climate change: models shows. Even better than stopping all emissions tomorrow.
Point on the "moderation" ... we don't need to go full blown
  • https://geoengineering.environment.harvard.edu/files/sgrp/files/s41599-020-00694-6_1.pdf?m=1620412697
    • <0.3% of climate science budgets on Solar Geoeng in 2018
    • China and US experts have similar views but differ in Governance proposals and desired climate scenarios (lower RF in US vs. China)
    • Geoengineering experts push for more geoengineering than Climate experts
    • 🤔
      They see the same science. But have different goals already. Use this
  • Can Geoeng be used as a weapon?
    • https://geoengineering.environment.harvard.edu/publications/can-solar-geoengineering-be-used-weapon
    • Basis for doing research: it has the potential to reduce risks for the world's poorest
    • Fear linked to interest of military to modify climate (ex. Vietnam)
    • There are comparisons being made with nuclear weapons: it could be used to wage war / Need for a global governance etc.
    • This is grossly overstated / ît cannot be a useful weapon
      • Weapons need to be precise (space, time and effect). Geoengineering is not
      • Stratospheric aerosol injection: there are only a few knobs (latitude) ... but it will disperse accross the athmosphere / at least in the same emisphere
      • Only climate effects could be generated ... not weather effects. There is then a long chain between climate effect and climate impact
      • There is no physical basis for targeting specific impacts at specific countries
    • Other local techs (marine cloud brightening ...)
      • Would be very difficult to produce long term local effects
      • Effects will have consequences in other parts of the globe
      • Conceivable that it could be used for limited weather control, but still military value would be low
    • Weaponisation is science fiction: low earth orbiting sunshades for example
    • This is a theoretical problem, not real world problem. It is distracting. This is why it is not mentioned in any reports
this doesn't mean it can't create a threat to peace. Ex. one countries does regional engineering ... which leads to changes globaly and triggers a war.