What’s the Problem with Geo-engineering?

Social Theory and Practice 45 (3):471-499 (2019)
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Abstract

Many feel a sense of aversion and tragedy about proposals for engineering the climate. Precautionary concerns only partly explain these feelings. For a fuller understanding, we need a thicker conception of the values and ends of political society than “neutralitarian” political theories offer. To this end, I examine how Buddhist and Greek notions of temperance, justice, and freedom bear on the question of geo-engineering. My intention is not to pronounce on whether geo-engineering is morally “right” or “wrong,” but to highlight reasons for thinking it unattractive in a broader sense, thereby strengthening the case for exhausting conventional emissions-reductions options.

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Ross Mittiga
Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

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