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Our Two Climate Crises Challenge: Urgent Cooling and Long-Run GHG Removal & Ecological Regeneration

Updated: Aug 1, 2022

We are facing a short-term cooling crisis and a long-term GHG draw down planetary ecological crisis. We must address both. The first requires emergency direct cooling, or temporary “triage” or a “tourniquet, for our bleeding planet”. The second requires rapid GHG emissions reductions and draw down and natural planetary regeneration that realistically will take at least a few decades and may take a century or more. Conflating the challenge and opportunity of the second crisis with a response to the first crisis will not produce a rapid and credible global response to the second crisis because of structural economic inequity and fossil fuel dependency that is deeply embedded in the current global economy. Realistically, we need emergency direct climate cooling to address the first crisis and a long-term binding global cap and trade emissions trading system to address the second. The Florin proposal that conditions SAI direct climate cooling on credible GHG emissions and draw down is a step in the right direction, but omits other direct climate cooling methods and effectively makes the deployment of SAI contingent on a global ETS that may not be possible before the deployment of SAI becomes necessary. Rather than conflating our two climate crises, or conditioning the solution of the first on a solution to the second, we need to address both on an emergency basis by putting all options on the table as called for in the HPAC proposal.

Draft paper forthcoming in the Review of Radical Political Economics can be accessed here.


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