Whose climate and whose ethics? : Conceptions of justice in solar geoengineering modelling

McLaren, Duncan P. (2018) Whose climate and whose ethics? : Conceptions of justice in solar geoengineering modelling. Energy Research and Social Science, 44. pp. 209-221. ISSN 2214-6296

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The role of underlying assumptions about justice in the construction of climate geoengineering knowledge is explored, based on a review of climate modelling studies focused on stratospheric aerosol injection. Such emerging technologies would create distinctively new climates, closer to the present climate than those resulting from unabated emissions; but with different winners and losers, in part as a result of implications for energy systems. Embedded presuppositions about the nature and practice of modelling are exposed, as are unexplored and narrow utilitarian and distributional conceptions of justice. The implications of these underlying assumptions and values for the discourses of climate geoengineering are considered. It is argued that they obscure the identification and consideration of a range of potential injustices arising in the pursuit of climate geoengineering; and create and reproduce asymmetries in power regarding the discourses and evaluations of climate geoengineering prospects. In particular, optimistic climate geoengineering discourses risk sustaining elite interests in high-carbon energy economies. Some suggestions are offered to improve the design, deployment and interpretation of climate engineering models in trans-disciplinary research so as to mitigate these problems.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Energy Research and Social Science
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Energy Research & Social Science. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Energy Research & Social Science, 44, 2018 DOI: 10.1016/j.erss.2018.05.021
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? geoengineeringjusticemodelingclimate policystratospheric aerosol injection (sai)renewable energy, sustainability and the environmentenergy engineering and power technologynuclear energy and engineeringfuel technologysocial sciences (miscellaneous) ??
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Deposited On:
24 Jul 2018 10:40
Last Modified:
01 Feb 2024 00:35