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Galaz, Victor (2012): Geo-engineering, Governance, and Social-Ecological Systems: Critical Issues and Joint Research Needs

Galaz, Victor (2012): Geo-engineering, Governance, and Social-Ecological Systems: Critical Issues and Joint Research Needs. In: E&S 17 (1).

"In this article, I elaborate three joint key challenges to geo-engineering research from a resilience perspective, with a special emphasis on governance issues.": 1. "planitary boundaries", 2. "earth stewardship", 3. institutional setting.

"The debate about the possibilities to engineer the Earth's climate has changed drastically in the last years. Suggestions of large-scale technological interventions to combat climate change that a decade ago would have been discarded as science fiction are slowly moving into the center of international climate change discussions, research, and politics. In this article, I elaborate three joint key challenges to geo-engineering research from a resilience perspective, with a special emphasis on governance issues. First, I discuss the need to understand geo-engineering proposals from a “planetary boundaries” perspective. Second, I elaborate why the notion of Earth stewardship and geo-engineering are not necessarily in conflict, but instead could be viewed as complementary approaches. Last, I discuss the critical need to explore an institutional setting that is strong enough to weed out geo-engineering proposals that carry considerable ecological risk, but still allow for novelty, fail-safe experimentation, and continuous learning. These issues are critical for our understanding of how to effectively govern global environmental risks, complex systems, and emerging technologies in the Anthropocene. "

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