05/02/2014 - 15:35

Swimming upstream: Engaging the American public early on climate engineering

Calls for public participation in climate engineering research and governance have appeared in numerous scientific and policy reports on the topic, indicating a desire for transparency and public oversight. But meaningful public engagement can require more of scientists and regulatory agencies than many realize. Over the past several decades, researchers and practitioners have developed many different methodologies to enable citizens to productively engage with experts and policy makers about emerging scientific and technological issues such as climate engineering. In fact, the United Kingdom has already convened several public participation exercises on climate engineering. Now is the time for federal agencies in the United States to start similar processes. The public is ready to discuss climate engineering. Are American scientists and decision makers ready to reciprocate?