Geoengineering increasingly appears to be crucial for future climate policies. Societies and governments throughout the world have so far failed to sufficiently curb greenhouse gas emissions necessary for averting dramatic global warming and climate change. This book introduces readers to the concepts and methods of climate engineering by presenting the techniques and risks, as well as the political and ethical issues. This timely text tackles topics such as arguments for and against altering the climate on purpose, the uncertainties of those technologies, the hurdles of international coordination, and the duties towards future generations. Landes engages with global cases, encompassing reforestation efforts; prevention of runaway planetary warming; and avoidance of climate catastrophe.
Distinctive features of the book include:
Engineering and Governing the Climate: Ethical and Political Issues is an essential read for all those working in environmental studies, climate policy, and building a sustainable future.
Xavier Landes is an associate professor at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga. In addition, he has held positions at Université de Montréal, University of Toronto, and Copenhagen University. Landes's areas of expertise are political and moral philosophy. He has published on various topics such as multiculturalism, the welfare state, public insurance, and happiness. Climate change and climate alteration constitute his current focuses of research and teaching.
Abbreviations and Acronyms
Introduction: Climate Change and Alteration in the Anthropocene
How Accurate is Geoengineering Denomination?
Intensifying Climate Concerns
Would Climate Engineering Announce a New Era?
The Onset of the Anthropogenic Influence
Mitigation, Adaptation, and Climate Engineering
Rationale and Structure of the Book
Chapter 1: What is Climate Engineering?
Countering Anthropogenic Climate Change
Is Climate Engineering Reducible to Conventional Climate Policy?
CDR and Mitigation
SRM and Adaptation
Chapter 2: An Evaluative Framework
How to Evaluate Climate Engineering?
Intrinsic Moral Value
Risks and Uncertainty
Regulation and Governance
A Glimpse into Comparative Principles
Technological Difference and Moral Non-Equivalence
Chapter 3: Climate Engineering Methods I: Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR)
What is CDR?
Land-Based Carbon Sinks Enhancement
Land Management and Ecosystem Restoration
Land Enhanced Weathering
Ocean-Based Carbon Sinks Enhancement
Ocean Enhanced Weathering
Fully Engineered Carbon Sinks
Carbon Capture and Storage/Sequestration (CCS)
Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage/Sequestration (BECCS)
Direct Air Capture and Storage/Sequestration (DACS)
CDR: A General Assessment
Chapter 4: Climate Engineering Methods II: Solar Radiation Management (SRM)
What is SRM?
Surface Albedo Modification
Urban Surface Brightening (USB)
Marine Cloud Brightening (MCB)
Cirrus Cloud Thinning (CCT)
SRM: A General Assessment
Chapter 5: Engineering the Climate: Arguments and Objections
Mitigation Gap and Necessity
The Distinction Between Research and Deployment
Reasons for the Distinction (and in Support of Research)
Reasons Against the Distinction (and Research)
Justifications for Climate Engineering
Objections to Climate Engineering
About the Author
I learned a great deal from reading this groundbreaking book. Geoengineering has been something of a taboo subject among environmentalists for many years, based on the desire to avoid distracting attention away from carbon abatement, which remains the first-best response to the problem of climate change. Considering the current warming trajectory, however, it seems inevitable that we will at some point need to take second-best options more seriously. Landes provides an invaluable guide to this emerging set of issues, describing the technological options and the normative concerns they raise with exemplary clarity.
Humanity's failure to take the steps necessary to arrest catastrophic anthropogenic climate change has forced geoengineering on our attention. The technologies involved raise daunting moral and political issues which we must nonetheless address immediately. Xavier Landes's book does us an enormous service by walking us through these issues in a manner that is both scientifically informed and philosophically sensitive. This is precisely the book that needed to be written given our present predicament, and we are all in Xavier Landes's debt for having written it.