The Ethics of Climate Engineering : Solar Radiation Management and Non-Ideal Justice book cover
1st Edition

The Ethics of Climate Engineering
Solar Radiation Management and Non-Ideal Justice

ISBN 9780367595050
Published June 30, 2020 by Routledge
186 Pages

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Book Description

This book analyzes major ethical issues surrounding the use of climate engineering, particularly solar radiation management (SRM) techniques, which have the potential to reduce some risks of anthropogenic climate change but also carry their own risks of harm and injustice. The book argues that we should approach the ethics of climate engineering via "non-ideal theory," which investigates what justice requires given the fact that many parties have failed to comply with their duty to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Specifically, it argues that climate justice should be approached comparatively, evaluating the relative justice or injustice of feasible policies under conditions that are likely to hold within relevant timeframes. Likely near-future conditions include "pessimistic scenarios," in which no available option avoids serious ethical problems. The book contends that certain uses of SRM can be ethically defensible in some pessimistic scenarios. This is the first book devoted to the many ethical issues surrounding climate engineering.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Benefits

Chapter 2: Distributions

Chapter 3: Decisions

Chapter 4: Virtues

Chapter 5: Dilemmas

Chapter 6: Comparisons

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Toby Svoboda is an assistant professor of philosophy at Fairfield University. He has published in journals such as Environmental Ethics, Environmental Values, and The Journal of Moral Philosophy. He is the author of Duties Regarding Nature: A Kantian Environmental Ethic (Routledge, 2015).


"Svoboda has written a book that does a good job staking a place in the debate around the ethics of solar radiation management (SRM), while still serving as good introduction. It also contributes to growing reflection on the relationship between climate change and non-ideal theories of justice."Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews