What it should stir debate over is geoengineering, some of which could be highly beneficial. What should create absolute horror are plans to try to cool the earth – the last thing life on this planet needs.
Technologies to keep Earth cool could one day provide a radical fix for climate change — and, in a world struggling to control its greenhouse-gas emissions, could also prove highly lucrative for inventors.
But should individual researchers, or companies, be allowed to own the intellectual property (IP) behind these world-changing techniques? The issue was thrust into the spotlight last week after a controversial geoengineering field trial was cancelled amid concerns about a patent application by some of those involved in the project, as first reported by Nature.