Document Type


Publication Title

Environmental Communication

Publication Date


Page Number



climate change, mitigation, geoengineering, risk compensation


Environmental Law | Law


The growing recognition that climate change mitigation alone will be inadequate has led scientists and policymakers to discuss climate geoengineering. An experiment with a US sample found, contrary to previous research, that reading about geoengineering did not reduce conservatives’ skepticism about the existence of anthropogenic climate change. Moreover, depending on how it is framed, geoengineering can reduce support for mitigation among both conservatives and nonconservatives. When geoengineering is framed as a major solution, people worry less about climate change, leading to reduced mitigation support. When framed as disastrous, people perceived geoengineering as riskier, also leading to a decrease in mitigation support. A more moderate framing of geoengineering as a partial solution is less susceptible to moral hazard effects. Overall, results suggest that geoengineering will not lessen political polarization over anthropogenic climate change, and could undercut support for mitigation efforts. Instead, framing geoengineering as a small piece to solving a big puzzle seems to be the best strategy to weaken this potential moral hazard.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.