Jennie C. Stephens Featured in The New York Times: Scientists Support an Idea Long Thought Outlandish: Reflecting the Sun’s Rays
by Christopher Flavelle, The New York Times
The idea of artificially cooling the planet to blunt climate change — in effect, blocking sunlight before it can warm the atmosphere — got a boost on Thursday when an influential scientific body urged the United States government to spend at least $100 million to research the technology.
That technology, often called solar geoengineering, entails reflecting more of the sun’s energy back into space through techniques that include injecting aerosols into the atmosphere. In a new report, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine said that governments urgently need to know whether solar geoengineering could work and what the side effects might be.
Jennie Stephens, director of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University, said that geoengineering research takes money and attention from the core problem, which is cutting emissions and helping vulnerable communities cope with the climate disruptions that are already happening.
“We need to double down on bigger transformative changes,” Dr. Stephens said. “That’s where the investment needs to be.”