Book
Review of Climate Change Geoengineering: Philosophical Perspectives

This book is an apology for addressing global climate change through the application of geo-engineering (GE) which encompasses injection of reflective sulfate particles into the air and seeding the ocean with iron. The ethical implications of CE are addressed but most of the book is relegated to examining the technical, economic, legal, and political implications of its adoption – including challenges posed by nations taking unilateral action. Many of the essays in this multi-authored book argue that we have made little progress on reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) – because of the large economic costs and lack of a collective world agreement – and that the imperative of a worsening global climate leaves us little choice but to undertake the R&D necessary to develop CE, which some of the authors of the chapters consider inevitable. While the need to clarify and assess the side effects of CE is acknowledged, perhaps too much optimism – and too little technological and legal uncertainty – about their management is voiced and in some cases defended on cost-benefit grounds. While the difficulties of getting a global agreement on reducing GHGs are discussed, a close reading of the book reveals equivalent, if not greater difficulties in addressing the legal barriers to CE.

Title
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsAshford N
PublisherAnthem Press
CityNew York, NY
Abstract

This book is an apology for addressing global climate change through the application of geo-engineering (GE) which encompasses injection of reflective sulfate particles into the air and seeding the ocean with iron. The ethical implications of CE are addressed but most of the book is relegated to examining the technical, economic, legal, and political implications of its adoption – including challenges posed by nations taking unilateral action. Many of the essays in this multi-authored book argue that we have made little progress on reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) – because of the large economic costs and lack of a collective world agreement – and that the imperative of a worsening global climate leaves us little choice but to undertake the R&D necessary to develop CE, which some of the authors of the chapters consider inevitable. While the need to clarify and assess the side effects of CE is acknowledged, perhaps too much optimism – and too little technological and legal uncertainty – about their management is voiced and in some cases defended on cost-benefit grounds. While the difficulties of getting a global agreement on reducing GHGs are discussed, a close reading of the book reveals equivalent, if not greater difficulties in addressing the legal barriers to CE.

URLhttps://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/85066