Ethics, Science and Geoengineering
Geoengineering - roughly the intentional technological manipulation of the earth's environment on a global scale - is becoming a hot topic in climate change circles, as well as in the broader science and ethics communities. In this interdisciplinary course, we will consider the science of geoengineering and the ethical and governance considerations at stake. We will highlight interventions such as stratospheric sulfate injection, marine cloud brightening, and direct air capture. Scientifically, we will look at the mechanism[s], how they affect the climate system, and what is the level of uncertainty. Ethical topics wil include emergency arguments for geoengineering, moral hazard, justice, political legitimacy, hubris, and, especially, possible regulation of geoengineering research and deployment. We will discuss work from leading authors such as Ralph Cicerone, Paul Crutzen, Clive Hamilton, Mike Hulme, Dale Jamieson and David Keith, as well as influential reports from the Royal Society and the National Research Council. We are looking for strong team of advanced undergraduates and graduate students with background in ethics, politics, policy, or related disciplines. Versions of the course are cross-listed in Atmospheric Sciences, Environmental Studies and Philosophy. Please do not hesitate to contact the instructors for further details. Offered: jointly with ENVIR 417.
TEXTS: Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering, Dr. Clive Hamilton; A Case for Climate Engineering, David Keith.