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Columbia Energy Exchange

Weighing The Risks Of Solar Geoengineering


Special Crossover Episode with Catalyst

This week, Columbia Energy Exchange brings you an episode of another podcast called Catalyst. 

It’s a weekly show hosted by climate tech veteran Shayle Kann about the future of decarbonization. Each week, different experts, researchers, and executives come on to unpack the latest hurdles to decarbonization and advancing new climate tech solutions. 

This episode is all about weighing the risks and rewards of solar geoengineering. 

In it, Shayle speaks with a climate modeler named Dan Visioni who conducts research on solar geoengineering at Cornell University’s Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. 

They explore key questions, including:

  • What do we know about the potential effects on ozone, precipitation and ecosystems? What do we need to research, and what could we learn by testing?
  • Which could scale faster: carbon dioxide removal or solar geoengineering?  
  • Solar geoengineering could cost a tiny fraction of the amount required to scale up carbon dioxide removal. Does that mean it could buy us time to draw down emissions in a less expensive manner? Or would its relative affordability enable a rogue actor to deploy it without international collaboration?
  • And who gets to make the final decision on whether the world should deploy solar geoengineering? Whose hand is on the thermostat, so to speak?

Episodes of Catalyst drop every Thursday. The show is a co-production of Post Script Media and Canary Media.

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