Scientists' Warning on Technology

Climate Emergency Forum discusses a paper titled “Scientists Warning on Technology” published in the Journal of Cleaner Production. The paper highlights the double-edged nature of technology.

This video was recorded on April 17th, 2024, and published on May 5th, 2024.

While technology holds immense potential for addressing climate change through electrification, renewable energy, and AI-driven solutions, certain technologies can also cause harm to the climate and habitats. The authors warn that harmful technologies should be phased out, and future technologies must be approached with caution to mitigate unintended consequences.

The urgent need for a “Manhattan Project” level of effort to rapidly develop and deploy technologies that can cool the planet and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is emphasized. Merely reducing emissions is insufficient, and a complete conversion to non-polluting economies is crucial. This would require mobilizing the best scientific minds and resources on an unprecedented scale.

The role of political and economic factors in hindering climate action is also addressed. The discussants criticize the influence of fossil fuel corporations on policymakers and the lack of independence between governments and corporations. They stress the importance of public awareness and individual efforts to drive change, as well as the need for a fundamental shift in societal thinking and intentions.

The paper’s omission of climate interventions like carbon dioxide removal and solar radiation management is touched upon. While these technologies are gaining mainstream attention, the panel cautions against assuming they will provide a silver bullet solution, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive and cautious approach.


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