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Exploring Public Perception of Solar Radiation Management

  • Christine Merk
  • Gert Pönitzsch
  • Carola Kniebes
  • Katrin Rehdanz
  • Ulrich Schmidt

Solar radiation management (SRM) could quickly offset global warming caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Because SRM would have global side effects, it raises not only technological but also political and social concerns. Therefore, SRM research should be accompanied by a global debate that incorporates public perception and concerns into the development and governance of the technology. Our paper provides insight into public perception and explores its underlying patterns using a survey conducted in Germany. The data reveal a differentiated picture. Laboratory research on SRM is broadly approved, whereas field research is much less approved. Immediate deployment is largely rejected. The acceptance of the technology is associated with the belief that climate change is a severe problem and that humans will eventually be able to control nature. It is also determined by the levels of trust in scientists and firms. Among the strongest objections against the technology is the belief that humans should not manipulate nature in the way SRM would. The actual public perception of SRM will, however, evolve along with the ongoing debate between the public, experts, and policymakers

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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1892.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1892
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  1. Dohmen, Thomas J. & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Sunde, Uwe & Schupp, Jürgen & Wagner, Gert G., 2011. "Individual risk attitudes: Measurement, determinants, and behavioral consequences," Munich Reprints in Economics 20048, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. David G. Victor, 2008. "On the regulation of geoengineering," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(2), pages 322-336, Summer.
  3. 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.
  4. Scott Barrett, 2008. "The Incredible Economics of Geoengineering," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 39(1), pages 45-54, January.
  5. Alan Robock & Douglas MacMartin & Riley Duren & Matthew Christensen, 2013. "Studying geoengineering with natural and anthropogenic analogs," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 121(3), pages 445-458, December.
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