Date: 21 September 2022
Place: At the Institute for Futures Studies, Holländargatan 13, Stockholm, or online.
'Geoengineering' has come to refer to massive, deliberate technological interventions into fundamental earth systems on a planetary scale, often with the aim of counteracting human-induced climate change. Despite a burgeoning literature, some ethical issues surrounding geoengineering remain under-analyzed, barely identified, or in effect ignored. In this paper, we explore one such issue, the threat of generationally parochial geoengineering (GPG) and identify some early warning signs in the current discourse, focusing on stratospheric sulfate injection, a form of solar radiation management. Our emphasis is on motivating the claim that generationally parochial geoengineering is a threat that should taken seriously at all levels of work on geoengineering, including research, development, and deployment. We also propose some initial guidelines and recommendations for future research and governance.
Stephen M. Gardiner is Professor of Philosophy and Ben Rabinowitz Endowed Professor of the Human Dimensions of the Environment at the University of Washington, Seattle, where he is also Director of the Program on Ethics. His research focuses on global environmental problems, future generations and virtue ethics.
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