Challenging Climate

Wake Smith on Pandora's toolbox and the feasibility of stratospheric aerosol geoengineering

May 17, 2022 Jesse Reynolds and Pete Irvine Episode 10
Challenging Climate
Wake Smith on Pandora's toolbox and the feasibility of stratospheric aerosol geoengineering
Show Notes Chapter Markers

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. 
 
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Opening
Introduction and Background
Climate Change Context
"Our descendents will demand climate intervention"
Carbon Dioxide Removal
Solar Radiation Management
High-flying jets for stratospheric aerosol geoengineering
Greenfinfer and unilateral geoengineering
International governance for solar radiation management
What gives you hope?