Report on a Public Dialogue on Geoengineering
‘Experiment Earth?’ was a public dialogue conducted for the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) on geoengineering − technologies that involve the deliberate and large scale manipulation of the Earth’s climate system to reduce the extent and impact of climate change.
The dialogue encompassed three groups of members of the general public (85 in total) who were reconvened to two events each. Some were then invited to a third event. At all events, scientists and the public discussed the issues together. The dialogue also included two discussion groups (with young people 16-18 and with people at risk of flooding), an online survey, and open access events at three science centres where scientists and the public interacted.
At all these events the participants discussed the challenge of climate change and the moral, ethical, societal and practical implications of investigating geoengineering solutions. Participants gave cautious support to a future involving research in geoengineering, provided their principles and caveats were addressed in future decision making.