Friday, April 10, 2015

Geoengineering, despair and the political extremes: false choices and deniability.

Last updated July 2, 2015

No! Political extremes be it from the left i.e. socialism etc. or the right i.e. T parties etc. do not present viable alternatives to geoengineering.

In fact they seem to be opposite sides of the same ideological coin. 

By opposing research into geoengineering, which could shed light into the effects of fossil fuel aerosols emissions, the extreme left perpetuates the ignorance providing cover for the same fossil fuels they claim to loath.  Another dynamic of the purported opposition to geoengineering by the extreme left is how abhorrent their underlying philosophies are, to the point of almost making the unpalatable prospect of geoengineering sufferable. 

The extreme right does pretty much the same with its deniability of anthropogenic climate change, even opposing scientific endeavors that would shed light on the matter, helping the polluting industries avoid responsibilities, and in the process displaying a philosophical ‘irrational egoism’ destructive even to their own populations.

Others, perhaps feeling helpless, witnessing this well-rehearsed dance, are throwing up their hands in despair.  This is also not the answer, and may in fact complement the inaction synthetized by the extreme left-right dialectic.

So what is the answer?

Openness, vulnerability and accountability…?

I do not know.

But I think that knowledge, scientific knowledge, and open genuine debate based on facts, without hysterics, could put us on the path to finding the right answers.

Here I leave your with an interesting fictional video by the University of Bergen and The 7th Framework Programme. 

It is part of a website by Paula Curvelo as a PhD project titled The Geoengineering  Debate Website.

"Launched in December 2012 and was designed to promote a space for reflection and debate on the social and ethical implications of geoengineering".

Link to The Geoengineering  Debate Website

About the author of the page.

Paula Curvelo is a PhD candidate in environmental philosophy at the University of Lisbon, Portugal.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Geography (University of Lisbon, UL), a postgraduate diploma in Urban Sociology (Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, ISCTE-IUL), and a MSc degree in Geographic Information Systems and Science (New University of Lisbon - ISEGI-NOVA).
Her current research interests include the ethical, legal and social aspects of geoengineering, the governance of emerging technologies, the politics of risk and uncertainty, and the philosophy of technology.

Paula's articles on Geoengineering

Curvelo, Paula (2015)  Geoengineering dreams in Science, Philosophy and Sustainability - The End of the Cartesian dream. Edited by Ângela Guimarães Pereira and Silvio Funtowicz. Routledge, pp. 114-131

Curvelo, Paula (2013) Imag[in]ing geoengineering – the plausible and the implausible, Int. J. Foresight and Innovation Policy, Vol. 9, Nos. 2/3/4, pp.162–187.

Curvelo, Paula (2013) Towards an Analytical Framework for Evaluating the Ethical Dimensions of Geoengineering Proposals. The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, volume 4, Issue 4, pp. 191-208

Curvelo, Paula and Pereira, Ângela G. (2013) Geoengineering: reflections on current debates. The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp. 1-21.

Curvelo, Paula (2013) Questioning the Geoengineering Scientific Worldview. The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies no. 7 (1):35-53.

Curvelo, Paula (2012) - Exploring the Ethics of Geoengineering through Images. The International Journal of The Image, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.177-198.

Update July 2, 2015

Interesting article:

Nicholson and Thompson (2015) April 21, 2015 - for GEOENGINEERING OUR CLIMATE?
A Working Paper Series on the Ethics, Politics and Governance of Climate Engineering

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