Geoengineering, restoration, and the construction of nature: Oobleck and the meaning of solar radiation management

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Abstract

An old book by children's author Dr. Seuss can be an inspiration to examine the ethical and ontological meaning of geoengineering. My argument is based on my critique of the process of ecological restoration as the creation of an artifactual reality. When humanity intentionally interferes with the processes and entities of nature, we change the ontological reality of the natural world. The world becomes a garden, or a zoo, an environment that must be continually managed to meet the goals of human purposes. Geoengineering is a more radical and comprehensive example of this process of planetary management. Thus, as with ecological restoration, geoengineering reinforces the paradigm of human mastery and domination of nature. To counteract this dream of domination, we must, as Dr. Seuss instructed us when we were children, learn to live in the natural world with humility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-498
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Ethics
Volume37
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Philosophy

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