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Climate Change Geoengineering : Philosophical Perspectives, by Wil C. G. Burns, Andrew L. Strauss

By Wil C. G. Burns, Andrew L. Strauss

The foreign group isn't taking the motion essential to stay clear of harmful raises in greenhouse gases. dealing with a possibly bleak destiny, the query that confronts humanity is whether or not the easiest of undesirable choices will be to counter international warming via human-engineered weather interventions. during this publication, 11 favorite specialists on weather swap contemplate the criminal, coverage and philosophical concerns awarded via geoengineering. The booklet asks: while, if ever, are judgements to embark on probably dicy weather amendment initiatives justified? If such judgements could be justified, in a global with out a imperative governing authority, who should still authorize such tasks and through what ethical and felony correct? If states or inner most actors adopt geoengineering ventures absent the blessing of the foreign group, what recourse do the remainder of us have?

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A full defense of this claim would take more space than I have here. So, instead, let me simply gesture toward some relevant concerns. To begin with, whether we are talking of actual or pure actors, we should beware of any arguments that appear simply to assume or stipulate that the form of geoengineering that ultimately emerges on the international scene is likely to be ethically benign. This worry can be made intuitively plausible simply by listing four examples of ethically worrying forms of geoengineering: • Rogue geoengineering (such as that undertaken by a lone state, corporation, or individual without appropriate consultation with and approval of others) • Nonconsensus geoengineering (such as that carried out by a “coalition of the willing” consisting of (say) the Western powers alone, or China and India alone, or Iran and fellow Islamic states alone, without the approval of the other nations affected) • Predatory geoengineering (such as that which aims to systematically disfavor the interests of some countries in choices between geoengineering schemes or levels of intervention, perhaps in order to secure other strategic advantages) • Militarized geoengineering (such as the weaponization of the climate control system)35 These forms of geoengineering are ethically worrying for the same basic reasons.

At the moment, it seems that, despite their availability, we are not yet willing to take up any of these options in a robust way. As a result, the new push within the scientific and policy communities is toward geoengineering. At the time of writing, this push seems likely to succeed. It is plausible that, although resisting substantial emissions cuts, some developed countries will be willing to spend a very small amount of their national budgets (a few hundred million in the case of the UK and United States) pursuing research on climate engineering, even though they know that such engineering may not work, will not fix all the problems even if it does work, and raises serious issues of its own, including those of negative side effects, legitimate governance and irreversibility.

15, 2012). 10 Other concepts imported into climate ethics from economics are “moral hazard,” “public goods,” and the idea that the social is no more than the aggregation of the individual. And the claim that climate change is an “externality” goes unchallenged. These concepts only make sense when the world is the kind of entity that has as its ideal form a collection of perfect markets, with all of the assumed individualism, self-interest, and equilibrium tendencies embedded in them.

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