The Gamble

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<p>Stabilizing the world&rsquo;s climates means cutting carbon dioxide pollution. There&rsquo;s no way around it. But what if that&rsquo;s not enough? What if it&rsquo;s too difficult to accomplish in the time allotted or, worse, what if it&rsquo;s so late in the game that even cutting carbon emissions to zero, tomorrow, wouldn&rsquo;t do?</p> <p>Enter solar geoengineering.&nbsp;The principle is simple: attempt to cool Earth by reflecting more sunlight back into space. The primary mechanism, shooting particles into the upper atmosphere, implies more pollution, not less. If that doesn&rsquo;t sound scary, it should. There are lots of risks, unknowns, and unknowables.</p> <p>In <i>Geoengineering: The Gamble</i>, climate economist Gernot Wagner provides a balanced take on the possible benefits and all-too-real risks, especially the so-called &ldquo;moral hazard&rdquo; that researching or even just discussing (solar) geoengineering would undermine the push to cut carbon emissions in the first place. Despite those risks, he argues, solar geoengineering may only be a matter of time. Not <i>if</i>, but <i>when</i>.</p> <p>As the founding executive director of Harvard&rsquo;s Solar Geoengineering Research Program, Wagner explores scenarios of a geoengineered future, offering an inside-view of the research already under way and the actions the world must take to guide it in a productive direction.</p>