Climatologists have confirmed it is now too late to avoid certain global warming and that a shift to a low or zero carbon economy is thus vital. This implies an urgent transition to renewable energy sources as well as radical adaptive measures, which collide against established industrial monopolies. This episode gathers several geoengineering patent applications, and through these documents presents the history of these emerging technologies and the private interests, actors, think tanks, and corporations behind them.
Within the debate of climate change mitigation, geoengineering—the technological management of weather patterns and carbon capture processes—occupies an especially politicized place. It has slowly entered climate change discussions, including those held by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. While the legitimate use of such technologies and their regulation remains unaddressed by the UN, a rush to patent these technologies is underway.