Note: The Climate engineering discussed here to be carried out in the stratosphere using reflective particles is not directly related to “chemtrails” – a relatively low altitude aerosol operation secretly deployed for several decades as a weather weapon and military strategy for Full Spectrum Dominance. Chemtrails may mimic strategies for global warming mitigation, but the resultant artificial clouds are well known to increase surface temperatures by trapping heat.
It’s important to make the distinction between “geoengineering” for global warming mitigation and “weather weaponization” (chemtrails) for military and other covert applications.
“Interventions such as putting mirrors in space or fine particles into the stratosphere are not well received”
Members of the public have a negative view of climate engineering, the deliberate large-scale manipulation of the environment to counteract climate change, according to a new study.
The results are from researchers from the University of Southampton and Massey University (New Zealand) who have undertaken the first systematic large-scale evaluation of the public reaction to climate engineering.
The work is published in Nature Climate Change on 12 January 2014 in a paper entitled “A quantitative evaluation of the public response to climate engineering”.
Some scientists think that climate engineering approaches will be required to combat the inexorable rise in atmospheric CO2 due to the burning of fossil fuels. Climate engineering could involve techniques that reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere or approaches that slow temperature rise by reducing the amount of sunlight reaching the Earth’s surface.
(It’s a Done Deal But We’ll Pretend to Care by Requesting Public Opinion)
Co-author Professor Damon Teagle of the University of Southampton said:
“Because even the concept of climate engineering is highly controversial, there is pressing need to consult the public and understand their concerns before policy decisions are made.”
ContinueLead author, Professor Malcolm Wright of Massey University, said: “Previous attempts to engage the public with climate engineering have been exploratory and small scale. In our study, we have drawn on commercial methods used to evaluate brands and new product concepts to develop a comparative approach for evaluating the public reaction to a variety of climate engineering concepts.”
The results show that the public has strong negative views towards climate engineering. Where there are positive reactions, they favour approaches that reduce carbon dioxide over those that reflected sunlight.
“It was a striking result and a very clear pattern,” said Professor Wright.
“Interventions such as putting mirrors in space or fine particles into the stratosphere are not well received. More natural processes of cloud brightening or enhanced weathering are less likely to raise objections, but the public react best to creating biochar (making charcoal from vegetation to lock in CO2) or capturing carbon directly from the air.”
Nonetheless, even the most well regarded techniques still has a net negative perception.
The work consulted large representative samples in both Australia and New Zealand. Co-author Pam Feetham said: “The responses are remarkably consistent from both countries, with surprisingly few variations except for a slight tendency for older respondents to view climate engineering more favourably.”
Professor Wright noted that giving the public a voice so early in technological development was unusual, but increasingly necessary. “If these techniques are developed the public must be consulted. Our methods can be employed to evaluate the responses in other countries and reapplied in the future to measure how public opinion changes as these potential new technologies are discussed and developed,” he said.
Atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations continue to increase, with CO2 passing 400 parts per million in May 2013. To avoid severe climate change and the attendant economic and social dislocation, existing energy efficiency and emissions control initiatives may need support from some form of climate engineering. As climate engineering will be controversial, there is a pressing need to inform the public and understand their concerns before policy decisions are taken. So far, engagement has been exploratory, small-scale or technique-specific. We depart from past research to draw on the associative methods used by corporations to evaluate brands. A systematic, quantitative and comparative approach for evaluating public reaction to climate engineering is developed. Its application reveals that the overall public evaluation of climate engineering is negative. Where there are positive associations they favour carbon dioxide removal (CDR) over solar radiation management (SRM) techniques. Therefore, as SRM techniques become more widely known they are more likely to elicit negative reactions. Two climate engineering techniques, enhanced weathering and cloud brightening, have indistinct concept images and so are less likely to draw public attention than other CDR or SRM techniques.
A quantitative evaluation of the public response to climate engineering by Malcolm J. Wright, Damon A. H. Teagle & Pamela M. Feetham published in Nature Climate Change (2014) doi:10.1038/nclimate2087
Read abstract and get paper here.
News release issued by the University of Southampton here.