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A Modest Defense of Geoengineering Research: A case study in the cost of learning

Winsberg, Eric (2021) A Modest Defense of Geoengineering Research: A case study in the cost of learning. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Recently, research into the possibilities of developing Solar Radiation Management (SRM) and other geoengineering technologies has gained new momentum. Just this year, Cambridge University announced the opening of a “Centre for Climate Repair” as part of the university’s Carbon Neutral Futures Initiative. Recent modeling work gives hope that SRM could confer more benefits than previously thought. But opposition to even conducting research into SRM remains strong. I use the case study of SRM to develop a framework, based on a theorem by I.J. Good, for thinking about the benefits and costs of acquiring new evidence and for thinking about the conditions under which new evidence could be harmful. I argue that the expected benefits of supporting public research in SRM technologies outweigh the expected costs and harms.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Winsberg, Ericeric.winsberg@gmail.com
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Climate Science and Meteorology
General Issues > Decision Theory
Specific Sciences > Engineering
General Issues > Evidence
Depositing User: Eric Winsberg
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2021 14:16
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2021 14:16
Item ID: 18878
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Climate Science and Meteorology
General Issues > Decision Theory
Specific Sciences > Engineering
General Issues > Evidence
Date: 30 March 2021
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/18878

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