Lauren Hartzell and Andrew Light

October 19, 2010

UPDATE 11:15: Andrew‘s speaking, talking about how he’s moving some of his work over to policy work. Does mostly now philosophically informed policy making. He’s got three key questions:

  1. How do the basic questions concerning geoengineering raise the need for governance?
  2. What are the minimal criteria for effective governance ahead of large-scale deployment?
  3. Are there options on the table now for advancing institutions for governance?

Skipping most of his stuff to hit the conclusion. HE says that the classification begs governance. “Alternative classification incorporating global/local risk profile, reversability, etc., (to traditional CDR-SRM) are interesting because they bring to the forefront the pragmatic issues of assessing impacts of different techniques on humans, other animals, ecosystems and earth systems.”

Minimum criteria for effective governance, at least these six bare bones: Inclusive, open forum, streamlined, informed, autonomous, empowered. Consider these with regard to options for governance: Private/voluntary model (not autonomous or empowered; only partially open forum), unilateral model (only autonomous; doesn’t meet other criteria), multilateral-exclusive model (like START; questionable autonomy, only partially open forum, possibly streamlined). Lots of different models are currently in play: UN, IWC, CITES. Creating international body is a mistake, primarily for reasons of time. Doesn’t think IPCC and UNFCCC is the way to go. Andrew likes the ENMOD treaty. Here’s another primer that I’ve just googled.

The idea is that we’d just use this treaty to ban a lot of harmful stuff, but the scope isn’t only about harmful uses. The most interesting part of the treaty is Article III, which talks about how to modify the environment. This is a really interesting talk. I need to pay attention.


UPDATE 11:00: Hartzell is speaking about the precautionary principle, which she thinks is poorly defined and formulated. Generally, it’s thought to be the “better safe than sorry” view. She’s arguing that there are multiple different PP arguments, that it lacks clarity. Who bears the responsibliity, is it human health versus the environment, what are the threats of harm (there’s a paralysis objection), and it’s difficult to identify precautionary measures. There are, clearly, fancy categories and families of precautionary principles.

Mention of Gardiner, Manson, yada yada.

Defines Catastrophic Precautionary Principle: “Appropriate precautionary measures should be taken against threats of catastrophe, where threads of catastraphe….” gah! too fast… not enough coffee. Read the paper. Damn you, Lauren. You speak as fast as I do.

The question we should be asking is, “When, if ever will SRM techniques constitute appropriate precautionary measures against climate change.

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