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The Wickedness and Complexity of Decision Making in Geoengineering

by Yanzhu Zhang 1,2,* and Alfred Posch 1
1
Institute of Systems Sciences, Innovation and Sustainability Research, University of Graz, Graz 8010, Austria
2
MIND Education Program in Industrial Ecology, European Commission Erasmus Mundus Coordination Institute, Graz 8010, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Challenges 2014, 5(2), 390-408; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe5020390
Received: 26 May 2014 / Revised: 29 October 2014 / Accepted: 30 October 2014 / Published: 6 November 2014
Geoengineering, the deliberate large-scale manipulation of the planetary environment to counteract anthropogenic climate change, has been more widely considered as an accompanying strategy to conventional climate change mitigation measures to combat global warming. However, this approach is far from achieving agreements from different institutional domains. Geoengineering, intended to be deployed on a planetary scale, would cause fundamental interventions to the human-environment system and create new risks and problems with high uncertainty and uneven distribution around the globe. Apart from the physical effects, conflicting attitudes appear from social, economic, and environmental worldviews in the international community. The intertwined sociotechnical complexity and conflicting attitudes make geoengineering a wicked and complex issue. This article elaborates the wickedness and complexity from a system perspective, primarily for an interdisciplinary, policy-oriented audience. View Full-Text
Keywords: geoengineering; earth system; human-environment system; interventions; feedback loops; wickedness; complexity; decision making geoengineering; earth system; human-environment system; interventions; feedback loops; wickedness; complexity; decision making
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Zhang, Y.; Posch, A. The Wickedness and Complexity of Decision Making in Geoengineering. Challenges 2014, 5, 390-408.

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