About this Research Topic
Innovation is constantly sought in the expanding field of geoengineering. As society finds it less able to mitigate abusive abusers of the environment, scientists and engineers now look to alternative methods of slowing and even reversing climate change. Geoengineering provides the ability to massively intervene in Earth’s climate on scales heretofore only provided by catastrophic natural events.
Two hundred years ago, once such event, the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia, arguably one of the largest in a millennium led to a palpable drop in average global temperatures, crop devastation and the “year without a summer (1816).” Coincidentally, at the same time that nature was wreaking havoc on the environment, Mary Shelly composed the paradigmatic cautionary tale against man interfering with nature. Ironically, two centuries later geoengineering is attempting to do just that, albeit in a more sophisticated and careful manner.
The goal of this Research Topic is to examine current and near-future efforts in geoengineering in light of Shelly’s admonitions not to interfere in nature: analyzing the non-trivial ethical, legal and social implications of our attempts to forestall the effects of decades of environmental neglect and misuse with a particular focus on the physical impact that these efforts might have on the planet, including on our arable land, our freshwater systems, and the atmosphere.
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