Fighting Fire with Fire
Wednesday 30 July 2014 9.00 - 5.00pm
University of New South Wales
Fighting Fire With Fire: Climate Modification and Ethics in the Anthropocene
First proposed in the mid-1960s, climate modification and direct weather manipulation have a long history and debates about deploying these technologies to mitigate human-induced global warming have been in the background of international climate change policy for some time. In the context of the collective exasperation with the slow progress of international climate change policies there is renewed interest in scientific and policy circles in a suite of technologies through which to engineer the world’s climate. Techniques as diverse as the injection of sulphate particles into the upper atmosphere to deflect radiant energy away from the earth, the use of ocean fertilisation to promote algae growth, and the burial of charred biomass to promote carbon sequestration, are now being openly discussed as constituting a possible “Plan B” response to human-induced global warming.
“It seems,” Nigel Clark argues that we are “gearing up to fight fire with fire.” These proposals raise of host of profound social, ethical and normative questions. By bringing together an interdisciplinary group of contemporary scholars, this symposium aims to develop modes of socio-theoretical intervention that articulate the challenges posed by geoengineering and climate modification. The event will situate the geopolitical and economic milieus in which geoengineering research is being undertaken, in consideration with notions of ethics, responsibility and governance in the face of catastrophe.
Prof Nigel Clark, Lancaster University
Prof Jim Falk, University of Melbourne
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This event is in partnership with Environmental Humanities, UNSW