This is something of a crossroads. I've no doubt that, for better or worse, research into geoengineering will continue and slowly become more mainstream, but, for now, we stand at the absolute edge, a precipice even.
Say 'yes' and the deep greens will shout of mission creep, and geoengineering by stealth (not at all justified given our efforts to become as transparent as possible). Say 'no' and a limited assessment of public opinion and political nervousness will have overcome our will to undertake vital science. I suspect there might be more of a fuss over the latter, certainly it is not the easy option.
Personally, I'm convinced the testbed is safe. My limited efforts with EIA will have to be improved upon, by my initial Leopold matrix is very, very threadbare, ergo from an environmental, health and safety, ethical and legal/insurance perspective, the testbed is on solid ground. IAGP have highlighted the need to:
1. Be transparent and open, 2. engage with the local publics, and 3. consider the broader impacts.
I couldn't agree more...