Wake Smith is a Senior Fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard Kennedy School, writing scholarly articles on the feasibility, costs and governance of stratospheric aerosol geoengineering. Wake also teaches an undergraduate course on climate intervention at Yale University, the syllabus of which forms the basis of his new book “Pandora’s Toolbox – The Hopes and Hazards of Climate Intervention.” Prior to his academic career, Smith served in several executive roles in the commercial aviation industry, including as the President of the flight training division of Boeing and the COO of Atlas Air.
We spoke with Wake about his new book and why he believes that our ancestors will demand climate intervention. We cover the climate context, and the tools in Pandora’s toolbox: carbon dioxide removal and solar radiation management. Wake explains why high-flying jets offer a feasible means of deploying stratospheric aerosol geoengineering, and why the scenario of a billionaire “Greenfinger” implementing this is unlikely. We also touch on the international governance challenges that solar radiation management poses.