Geoengineering: Our Last Hope, or a False Promise?

published in the New York Times, 21 May 2013 Geoengineering: Our Last Hope, or a False Promise?  Manipulating the planet could be perilous. Clive Hamilton, a professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University, is the author, most recently, of “Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering.”  We should not try to play […]

Moral haze clouds geoengineering

Published in the EuTRACE Journal, April 2013 Will researching geoengineering ease pressure on governments to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions? The suspicion that it will explains why many people feel nervous about the whole climate engineering enterprise. To counter this fear, geoengineering researchers and supporters frequently say that more information is always a good thing, […]

No, we should not just ‘at least do the research’

Published in Nature, 10 April 2013 The idea of applying geoengineering research to mitigate climate change has not been thought through, argues Clive Hamilton. Fresh concerns about using geoengineering projects to cool the planet emerged late last month, when scientists at the UK Met Office said that possible unintended consequences demanded global oversight of such schemes. […]

Why geoengineering has immediate appeal to China

Published by The Guardian, 22 March 2013 Beijing wants to cut emissions without hindering growth and avert a revolt from a population under extreme climate stress The political dilemma over geoengineering – deliberate, large-scale intervention in the climate system designed to counter global warming or offset some of its effects – will perhaps be most […]

The Philosophy of Geoengineering

Geoengineering can be understood as the fulfillment of the entire technological project, because, in geoengineering, the Earth as a whole is represented as an object available for human regulation. The thinking that gives rise to geoengineering is the same thinking that first creates the world as an object suitable for technological manipulation. A contribution to […]

Ethical Anxieties About Geoengineering

Three main justifications are used to defend geoengineering research and possible deployment—it will allow us to buy time, it will allow us to respond to a climate emergency, and it may be the best option economically. Against these a number of ethical risks intrude: we may use the possibility of climate engineering to blind ourselves […]

The Ethical Foundations of Climate Engineering

In the standard consequentialist view of climate ethics, the question of whether it is ethically justified intentionally to shift the planet to a warmer or cooler climate depends on an assessment of the costs and benefits of the new state compared to the old one. In this view the natural world is framed as a […]