Wicked Geoengineering ?

Four Comments to the AGU draft policy statement
 
Geoengineering Responses to Climate Change Require Enhanced Research, Consideration of Societal Impacts, and Policy Development
 
 
I) As reflected in the wording of the draft statement, the issues summarized under the label ‚geoengineering‘ go well beyond sound understanding of the non-linear dynamics of the Earth climate system. However too little emphasis is given that how climate change may affect various socio-ecological systems is incompletely understood including how governance [1] may handle surprises, sudden changes and irreducible uncertainties. Furthermore, the non-linear dynamics and particular features of the socio-ecological systems will render obsolete handling strategies that are engineering-like [2]. Other handling strategies are available for such ‚wicked problems‘, which are reflexive, resilient, responsive, revitalizing and rescaling [3]. The policy statement should express through its language that that ‚engineering-like approaches‘ could not handle adequately climate change issues. Furthermore, the stamen should strengthen its wording regarding research into ‚historical, ethical and social implications‘ of any handling strategies including any engineering-component.
II) When considering engineering-components as part of a more comprehensive handling strategy then a distinction should be made between technologies that tackle the problem ‚at-the-start-of-the pipe‘, ‚at-the-end-of-the-pipe‘, or ‚modify-other-parts-of-a-complex- system‘. Technologies for ‚carbon dioxide removal‘ belong to the second category and ’solar radiation management‘ to the third. When considering how environmental problems (e.g. acid rain, stratospheric ozone destruction) were handled in the past, successful approaches involved technologies ‚at-the-start-of-the pipe‘. In the context of climate that are technologies, which capture carbon at moment of combustion to store it away. The policy statement should refer to such technologies (‚at-the-start-of-the pipe‘), including their preference as ‚common sense‘.
 
III) Carbon dioxide emissions cause warming of the globe and acidification of the world ocean [4]. ‚Solar radiation management‘ addresses only one of these major threats; ‚Carbon dioxide removal‘ addresses both. The policy statement should mention this structural difference between the approaches for geoengineering that the statement addresses.
IV) As reflected in the wording of the draft statement, the current limited success of adaptation and mitigation policies indicates a weakness of the current governance systems; a weakness that is found at global, regional and local scale. Research is needed how to strengthen governance across scales and among actors [1, 5]. Governance is a key-issue for anthropogenic change [6] including intended change like geoengineering of any kind and in particular for ’solar radiation management‘. It would be surprising that governance of geoengineering policies would function when governance of adaptation and mitigation policies has deemed weak. The policy statement should strengthen its argumentation regarding research of ethical legal and social implications.
 
[1] Biermann, F. (2014). Earth System Governance: World Politics in the AnthropoceneEarth System Governance: World Politics in the Anthropocene. London: MIT Press. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctt1287hkh
[2] Pollitt, C. (2016). Debate: Climate change—the ultimate wicked issue. Public Money & Management36(2), 78–80. https://doi.org/10.1080/09540962.2016.1118925
[3] Termeer, C. J. A. M., Dewulf, A., Karlsson-Vinkhuyzen, S. I., Vink, M., & van Vliet, M. (2016).Coping with the wicked problem of climate adaptation across scales: The Five R Governance Capabilities. Landscape and Urban Planning154, 11–19. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2016.01.007
[4] Duarte, C. M. (2014). Global change and the future ocean: a grand challenge for marine sciences.Frontiers in Marine Science1. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2014.00063
[5] Campbell, L. M., Gray, N. J., Fairbanks, L., Silver, J. J., Gruby, R. L., Dubik, B. A., & Basurto, X. (2016). Global Oceans Governance: New and Emerging Issues. Annual Review of Environment and Resources41(1), 517–543. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-environ-102014-021121
[6] Vidas, D., Fauchald, O. K., Jensen, Ø., & Tvedt, M. W. (2015). International law for the Anthropocene? Shifting perspectives in regulation of the oceans, environment and genetic resources. Anthropocene9, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ancene.2015.06.003

 

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Republished: ten posts on marine research

 

Ban Plastic Bags -III

  1. http://ukkoelhob.blogspot.be/2017/03/mundus-maris-first-news-these.html
  2. http://ukkoelhob.blogspot.be/2017/03/seagrass-doomsday-next.html
  3. http://ukkoelhob.blogspot.be/2017/03/levelling-out-trawling-sea.html
  4. http://ukkoelhob.blogspot.be/2017/03/warm-sea-to-shrink-fish.html
  5. http://ukkoelhob.blogspot.be/2017/03/change-pitch-with-pinch-of-salt.html
  6. http://ukkoelhob.blogspot.be/2017/03/marine-heavens-on-snowball-earth.html
  7. http://ukkoelhob.blogspot.be/2017/03/climate-choke-point-east-of-greenland.html
  8. http://ukkoelhob.blogspot.be/2017/03/dirty-sea-bottom-litter-everywhere-and.html
  9. http://ukkoelhob.blogspot.be/2017/03/spices-power-and-rock-pacific-ocean.html
  10. http://ukkoelhob.blogspot.be/2017/03/keeping-heat-on-or-powering-europe.html

Ban Plastic Bags -II

p.s: Might interest, also: https://www.facebook.com/groups/382791215094905/

p.p.s. Should interest: https://www.facebook.com/MundusMaris/?fref=ts

 

Social Network Theories

Changing Learning and Working

I have often been confronted by colleagues with the argument that social network analysis is only a method. Over time I became more annoyed with that point. Social network analysis goes beyond this. Yes, it is a method, but it is also a perspective, a framework, with which the world can be analyzed. To underline this point below are a couple of theories that can (or should) only be viewed from a relational perspective, hence social network perspective:

Social Exchange Theory

Initially, social exchange theory only dealt with the exchange of goods, services, or favors between two people. It can be summarize with „I scratch your bag, you scratch mine“. The flow of goods, services, or favors is normally reciprocal. Take any item you purchase: You get the good (e.g., freshly baked sour dough German bread with sunflower seeds) and the baker gets your money. But also when you grant…

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…on the Path to the Noosphere

First, there was the Geosphere, then the Biosphere and now the Noosphere.
This sequence is the time-line of evolution.
Initially, on Earth, chemical, geological, geochemical evolution emerged. The biological evolution followed. It leads to the progressive development of cell, body systems and body-mind systems. Offspring of the latter were mind-culture systems that formed societies. All these systems together are information processors and communicators. So far, a conceptual, general frame. However, what is the storyline behind this frame?

Individual vs Collective?

…first of all, we are a social animal; …second to this, we behave like an invasive species; …third, we are not innocent, possibly ignorant, hopefully caring although for our seven billion humans.

The Age of Transition Blog

I am noticing that there seems to be a gentle stream of ‘retreatism’ in some modes of thought. The idea seems to be that the ‘crowd’ is bad, that social life is somehow corrupting and, that faced with the world situation, and the Anthropocene in particular we have to move into our own, somehow special individuation.

To me this is a partial truth, and needs expansion. It may also be true that in specific times of life, when aging, or facing immanent death, or in the midst of illness, this may be the best thing for some of us to do. I just don’t think it is a good strategy for a general approach to deal with ecological crisis or political instability. Because we recognise that humans affect the world, does not mean we can correct the effects by ‚going away‘. All life forms affect the world. At the moment…

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