Stephen Gardiner to speak about the ethics of geoengineering

Please note – this event has been canceled and may be postponed at a later time.

Our final Rabinowitz Speaker Series: Society’s Role in a Changing Environment, co-hosted by Program on the Environment and School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, is next week, Wednesday, April 4.

Please note the date change! Join us from 4:30–6pm in Wallace Hall Commons. Faculty talks are followed by Q&A and time for mingling. Light refreshments served.

Stephen GardinerOur April speaker is Department of Philosophy professor, Stephen Gardiner. The title of his talk is: The Peculiar Ethics of Geoengineering.

Stephen is Professor of Philosophy and Ben Rabinowitz Endowed Professor of Human Dimensions of the Environment at the University of Washington, Seattle. His main areas of interest are ethical theory, political philosophy and environmental ethics. His research focuses on global environmental problems (especially climate change), future generations, and virtue ethics.

Stephen’s talk will expand on his research on the ethics around geoengineering-

Abstract: As efforts to address global climate change directly, through sharp reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, continue to stall, some scientists argue that we must prepare for grand technological interventions into the climate system (‘geoengineering’), including by commencing small-scale field testing. Geoengineering raises a large number of ethical issues (e.g., concerns about welfare, rights, justice, and political legitimacy). However, early policy framings often marginalize such issues, and so avoid important questions of justification. Since it is widely held that climate engineering has become a serious option mainly because of political inertia, there are also important contextual issues, especially around the paradoxical question, “What should we do, ethically speaking, given that we have not done, and will continue not to do, what we should be doing?”