• General Interest
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Science · 2021

Toward constructive disagreement about geoengineering: A shared taxonomy of concerns may help

David W. Keith

The divergence of expert opinion about solar geoengineering (SG) may be sharper than in any other area of climate policy. As with other contested technologies, disagreement sometimes conflates divergent scientific and political judgments with divergent normative stances. It is impossible to cleanly disentangle the technical, political, and ethical aspects of the debate. But it is possible to disagree in ways that better serve the public’s interests. Disaggregation of judgments about SG may allow experts to disagree more constructively and better serve policy-makers and diverse publics. An organized list of concerns about SG could serve as a tool to encourage disaggregation of complex disagreements while discouraging their conflation into an unhelpful “good versus bad” dichotomy.

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