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Ethics of SRM Anthology

Engineering the Climate:
The Ethics of Solar Radiation Management

As part of our work on this grant, we published the first anthology on the ethics of SRM in July 2012.  The book contains thirteen original essays on topics that include SRM and indigenous persons, religion and SRM, the impact of SRM on future generations, and SRM and non-human species.  A full table of contents for the book is pasted below.  Brief interviews with several of the book's authors and excerpted sections from certain chapters can be found after the author name.

Table of Contents:


 “The Extraordinary Ethics of Solar Radiation Management” by Christopher J. Preston                                                                                                                 

Present and Future Generations

1.   “Geoengineering, Solidarity, and Moral Risk” by Marion Hourdequin (interview)        

2.   “Might Solar Radiation Management Constitute a Dilemma” by Konrad Ott        

3.   “Domination and the Ethics of Solar Radiation Management” by Patrick Taylor Smith        

Marginalized, Vulnerable, and Voiceless Populations

4.   “Indigenous Peoples, Solar Radiation Management, and Consent” by Kyle Powys White (interview)     

5.   “Solar Radiation Management and Vulnerable Populations:  The Moral Deficit and its Prospects” by Christopher J. Preston (interview)

6.   “Solar Radiation Management and Non-human Species” by Ronald Sandler                                                                        

Moral Hazards and Hidden Benefits

7.   “The World That Would Have Been: Moral Hazard Arguments Against Geoengineering” by Ben Hale        

8.   “Climate Remediation to Address Social Development Challenges: Going Beyond Cost Benefit and Risk Approaches to Assessing Solar Radiation Management” by Holly Jean Buck (excerpt)                                                                      

Ethics of Framing and Rhetoric

9.   “Insurance Policy or Technological Fix: The Ethical Implications of Framing Solar Radiation Management” by Dane Scott (interview)

10.  “Public Concerns About the Ethics of Solar Radiation Management” by Wylie Carr, Ashley Mercer, and Clare Palmer (excerpt)       

The Cultural Milieu

11.  “The Setting of the Scene: Technological Fixes and the Design of the Good Life” by Albert Borgmann        

12.  “Between Babel and Pelagius: Religion, Theology, and Geoengineering,” by Forrest Clingerman        

13.  “Making Climates: Solar Radiation Management and the Ethics of Fabrication” by Maia Galarraga and Bronislaw Szerszynski        




The pursuit of geoengineering requires us to ameliorate the fundamental dichotomy between taking responsibility for the climate future of our planet and the hubris of intentional management of the complex Earth system. So far, it can be argued, we have done a poor job of accepting responsibly for the future climate and we have a history of causing negative unintended consequences when we try. Never-the-less, we can no longer escape this problem. There is no hope of "going back to nature"; and we have to find better ways to manage our home planet. The study of the ethical ramifications is one important part of this effort and this new volume illuminates many of the issues and provides a good basis for furthering our scholarship and societal decisions on this most difficult issue.

— Jane Long, Associate Director at Large, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Geoengineering is a new and vitally important topic, and this is the first major collection on the ethical issues. Its insights are a service not just to students and their professors, but also to humanity at large. 

— Stephen Gardiner, University of Washington

The book is available for purchase from Lexington here.