Volume 45, Issue 3, July 2019
What’s the Problem with Geo-engineering?
Many feel a sense of aversion and tragedy about proposals for engineering the climate. Precautionary concerns only partly explain these feelings. For a fuller understanding, we need a thicker conception of the values and ends of political society than “neutralitarian” political theories offer. To this end, I examine how Buddhist and Greek notions of temperance, justice, and freedom bear on the question of geo-engineering. My intention is not to pronounce on whether geo-engineering is morally “right” or “wrong,” but to highlight reasons for thinking it unattractive in a broader sense, thereby strengthening the case for exhausting conventional emissions-reductions options.