29 Items

Analysis & Opinions - MarketWatch

Here’s a Way to Cool the Planet without Merely Reducing Emissions

| June 16, 2016

"China has initiated a limited research program on albedo modification. The U.S. has not. Given that albedo modification is the kind of technology that necessitates an open, transparent, and international research effort — precisely the kind of effort in which the U.S. excels — this is a serious failing."

What’s the right temperature for the Earth?


Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

What’s the right temperature for the Earth?

| January 29, 2016

Imagine being able to control the temperature of the Earth like a home thermostat, turning it down a few notches to reduce the effects of global warming. That’s the goal of solar geoengineering. By spraying aerosols into the stratosphere, we could block a fraction of inbound sunlight and temporarily cool the Earth.

But just as home thermostats are notorious for setting off domestic squabbles — she bumps it up to 72, he ratchets it down to 64 — solar geoengineering could spark serious conflicts, ranging from sanctions to war between world powers.

- Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center Newsletter

Paris Climate Conference 2015: A key step in stopping climate?

| Fall/Winter 2015-2016

Was the Paris Climate Conference of 2015 a key step in stopping climate change? We asked the Belfer Center's Robert Stavins and David Keith to give us their answers to that question. They agreed to disagree in some of their answers and comments.

Analysis & Opinions - Toronto Star

The Real Bruce Carson Scandal

| September 22, 2015

"Over decades, Canadian governments have emasculated or killed institutions that gave independent advice on science and technology so that they are now among the weakest in the G7. Federal and provincial governments increasingly demand that research funding be tied to matching money from industry, so work that threatens industry's interests does not get funded. It's a good idea to tie some applied work in engineering to industrial interests, but this requirement must not apply to policy analysis."

The Smoky Hills Wind Farm as seen from Interstate 70 in Kansas, 2 November 2009.

Creative Commons

Journal Article - Energy & Environmental Science

How Much Bulk Energy Storage is Needed to Decarbonize Electricity?

| 2015

High cost and technical immaturity of bulk (multi-hour) electricity storage (BES) systems are often cited as major hurdles to increasing the penetration of intermittent renewables. The authors use a simple model to assess the economics of BES under carbon emissions constraints.

As an extremely low-lying country, surrounded by vast oceans, Kiribati is at risk from the negative effects of climate change, such as sea-level rise and storm surges, April 17, 2011.

Erin Magee/DFAT

Analysis & Opinions - The Huffington Post

How Much Attention Does Climate Change Warrant? A Conversation With Climate Scientist and Energy Technology and Public Policy Expert David Keith

  • Melody Guan
  • Yifan Wu
| April 17, 2015

HEA: You have conducted research on whether patents on solar geoengineering technologies could be banned and advocated for keeping these technologies in the public domain. What are the dangers of privatizing solar geoengineering?

Keith: With incredible technologies like this, you could destroy the world. You don't want private enterprise making nuclear weapons, and you don't want that with geoengineering. The decisions could impact the whole world and need to be taken as legitimately and as transparently as possible....

The SPICE project investigates the feasibility of 1 so-called geoengineering technique: releasing small particles into the stratosphere, which then reflect a few % of incoming solar radiation, with the effect of cooling the Earth with relative speed.

Wikimedia CC

Analysis & Opinions - The Washington Post

What's the Right Temperature for the Earth?

| January 29, 2015

"...[A]ttention is turning to solar geoengineering, also known as solar radiation management. Although the concept of injecting sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere has so far been tested only using computer simulations, there's high confidence that it would work to cool the Earth because it would mimic the well-understood cooling effect of large volcanic eruptions."