This book goes to the heart of the unfolding reality of the twenty-first century: international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have all failed, and before the end of the century Earth is projected to be warmer than it has been for 15 million years. The question “can the crisis be avoided?” has been superseded by a more frightening one, “what can be done to prevent the devastation of the living world?” And the disturbing answer, now under wide discussion both within and outside the scientific community, is to seize control of the very climate of the Earth itself.
Clive Hamilton begins by exploring the range of technologies now being developed in the field of geoengineering--the intentional, enduring, large-scale manipulation of Earth’s climate system. He lays out the arguments for and against climate engineering, and reveals the extent of vested interests linking researchers, venture capitalists, and corporations. He then examines what it means for human beings to be making plans to control the planet’s atmosphere, probes the uneasiness we feel with the notion of exercising technological mastery over nature, and challenges the ways we think about ourselves and our place in the natural world.
Clive Hamilton is Vice-Chancellor’s Chair and professor of public ethics, Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, Charles Sturt University, Canberra.