Chapter 8: Geoengineering the climate and possible trade implications
Geoengineering relates to the manipulation of the natural habitat – including the marine environment – in order to somehow abate or counteract the effects of natural and anthropogenic climate change and global warming. Geoengineering also relates to the various strategies and techniques aimed at containing and, in some cases, reversing the effects of anthropogenic and other forms of environmental degradation. These strategies and techniques range from the fairly innocuous to the highly scientifically and politically controversial. Given the transboundary effect of environmental degradation and the urgency that this creates, the concerted efforts of the international community are indispensable to enlist usefully whatever benefits geoengineering is capable of offering. However, serious obstacles that will be discussed later stand in the way of the international community acting in unison. Geoengineering is no new phenomenon – humans have manipulated their habitats throughout the various stages of civilization and development, according to the means that have historically been at their disposal. Geoengineering-related activities range from the wholly innocuous – for instance, the whitening of roof tops – to the near apocalyptic – for instance, the use of cloud-seeding by the United States during the Vietnam War.
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