Seminar: Dr Clare Heywood, "Arming the future: geoengineering and intergenerational justice"

Past Event

29 November 2011, 3:00pm - 4:30pm

Lecture Theatre, Oxford Martin School
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

Please note the change of time from 1300 to 1400

This semianr is hosted by the Future of Humanity Institute and the Institute for Science and Ethics

Speaker: Dr Clare Heywood, James Martin Fellow, Oxford Geoengineering Programme

Abstract: Lack of global agreement to curb GHG emissions to a sufficient degree has prompted interest in geoengineering as a response to climate change. Some climate scientists are increasingly vociferous in their calls for a research programme on geoengineering. One of their main justifications is that conducting research on geoengineering will be of benefit to future generations who will otherwise experience the impacts of severe climate change, either by increasing their options, or by providing protection against some sort of "climate emergency". It has also been claimed that research on geoengineering could constitute an injustice towards future generations. by putting them in a position where they have to choose a "lesser evil" . I assess both kinds of arguments and suggest that the most convincing (though not overwhelmingly convincing) argument for pursuing geoengineering research is based on non-ideal considerations of justice.

Biography: Clare's primary research interests are the ethics and governance issues raised by the prospect of using geoengineering as a response to climate change. More generally, she is interested in issues of global justice and climate change, especially the cultural dimensions of climate justice (the subject of her D.Phil thesis), and justice towards future generations.