Converse, B. A., Hancock, P. I., Klotz, L. E., Clarens, A. F., & Adams, G. S. (2020). If humans design the planet: A call for psychological scientists to engage with climate engineering. American Psychologist.


As efforts to control climate change gain momentum, so too does the possibility that some global actor(s) will deploy one or more forms of climate engineering. Climate engineering refers to large-scale and deliberate activities intended to change either the carbon-balance or energy-balance of the planet. Climate engineering approaches are untested, involve deep uncertainty, and have far-reaching consequences. Nevertheless, many scientists expect that, relative to conventional mitigation approaches, some climate-engineering approaches will prove less expensive and will require less coordination. They will also have more potential for unilateral deployment. Decisions to pursue climate engineering involve several psychosocial dimensions related to attitude and preference formation, decision making under uncertainty, interpersonal coordination, and health and well-being. Even the prospect of climate engineering could affect norms, goals, and beliefs. The field of psychological science should prepare to help society responsibly consider climate engineering alongside more conventional climate-change responses. This article lays out some initial questions and issues a call to action. It aims to provide common ground for a conversation between climatologists, policymakers, psychological scientists, and members of the public on the important behavioral touchpoints of climate engineering. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)