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Public engagement on solar radiation management and why it needs to happen now


  • Wylie Carr


  • Christopher Preston
  • Laurie Yung
  • Bronislaw Szerszynski
  • David Keith
  • Ashley Mercer


There have been a number of calls for public engagement in geoengineering in recent years. However, there has been limited discussion of why the public should have a say or what the public can be expected to contribute to geoengineering discussions. We explore how public engagement can contribute to the research, development, and governance of one branch of geoengineering, solar radiation management (SRM), in three key ways: 1. by fulfilling ethical requirements for the inclusion of affected parties in democratic decision making processes; 2. by contributing to improved dialogue and trust between scientists and the public; and 3. by ensuring that decisions about SRM research and possible deployment are informed by a broad set of societal interests, values, and framings. Finally, we argue that, despite the nascent state of many SRM technologies, the time is right for the public to participate in engagement processes. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Wylie Carr & Christopher Preston & Laurie Yung & Bronislaw Szerszynski & David Keith & Ashley Mercer, 2013. "Public engagement on solar radiation management and why it needs to happen now," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 121(3), pages 567-577, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:climat:v:121:y:2013:i:3:p:567-577
    DOI: 10.1007/s10584-013-0763-y

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Juan Moreno-Cruz & Katharine Ricke & David Keith, 2012. "A simple model to account for regional inequalities in the effectiveness of solar radiation management," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 110(3), pages 649-668, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Merk, Christine & Pönitzsch, Gert & Kniebes, Carola & Rehdanz, Katrin & Schmidt, Ulrich, 2014. "Exploring public perception of solar radiation management," Kiel Working Papers 1892, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    2. Merk, Christine & Pönitzsch, Gert, 2016. "The role of affect in attitude formation toward new technologies: The case of stratospheric aerosol injection," Kiel Working Papers 2024, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    3. repec:spr:climat:v:143:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10584-017-1994-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:spr:climat:v:145:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10584-017-2067-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Sebastian Harnisch & Stephanie Uther & Miranda Boettcher, 2015. "From ‘Go Slow’ to ‘Gung Ho’? Climate Engineering Discourses in the UK, the US, and Germany," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 15(2), pages 57-78, May.

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