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Our Axios Voices conversation on geoengineering.

The Paris climate agreement and some nations, including the U.S, recognize certain geoengineering projects as potentially legitimate, but the legal status of technologies to deflect the sun's radiation is wholly undefined despite carrying geopolitical and moral risks.

Why it matters: Solar radiation management, in which the sun's light is reflected by mirrors or particles deployed in the atmosphere, could have terrible environmental and societal consequences. It could be weaponized and lead to conflict between nations. Even if the risks are overblown, merely talking about and conducting research into geoengineering may weaken support for limiting emissions via renewable energy and conservation, methods we know work. When geoengineering is presented to people as a potential solution to climate change, their support for mitigation measures falls.

Bottom line: We need responsible communication. Even if solar radiation management never becomes a physical reality, how it is portrayed by scientists, governments, and corporations could have a profound effect on how the world addresses climate change.

Other voices in the conversation:

Go deeper

Special Envoy for Haiti resigns over deportation of migrants and asylum-seekers

Daniel Foote testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on May 26, 2016. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Special Envoy for Haiti on Wednesday resigned from his position, writing in his resignation letter obtained by PBS that he "will not be associated with the United States inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees."

Why it matters: Ambassador Daniel Foote's resignation comes amid heightened anger over the treatment of Haitian migrants and asylum-seekers living in a temporary encampment in Del Rio, Texas — especially after images surfaced of Border Patrol agents whipping at the migrants from horseback.

First-time homebuyers shrink as prices spike

Data: National Association of Realtors; Chart: Axios Visuals

Home sales cooled as prices continued to heat up in August.

Driving the news: The share of first-time existing homebuyers (29%) last month was the smallest in two years, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors.

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 hours ago - World

Airbnb co-founders double Afghan refugee program to 40,000

Afghan refugees arriving at Dulles International Airport in Virginia in August 2021. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky and co-founder Joe Gebbia said during a visit to Washington on Wednesday that they're offering temporary housing to 40,000 Afghan refugees worldwide, doubling a previous commitment.

The big picture: The housing typically lasts several weeks, and Airbnb and Airbnb.org provide subsidies to hosts. Hosts and donors also help pay.