Freddy Ehlers

In order to combat climate change, a concept known as geoengineering entails deliberately altering the climate system. There are worries about its environmental and ethical ramifications, despite the fact that it has drawn attention in scientific and policy circles as a viable remedy for climate change. Environmental ethics basically employs one of two general frameworks to assess how technology contributes to solving environmental issues and then uses those frameworks as contexts to assess geoengineering.

Western Culture Critique and Technological Optimism

Both strategies have advantages, but they represent fundamentally different ways of thinking about how people and the environment interact. The two main environmental ethics approaches are:

  1. Critique of Western Culture: The ecological crisis of the 20th century is viewed as having its roots in severe criticism of the philosophical underpinnings of Western culture, particularly the notion that humans have the right to dominate nature. This point of view opposes the premise that technical power can be used for good and promotes finding solutions to environmental issues without the assumption that humans can control nature.
  2. Technological Optimism: This strategy highlights how science and technology may be used to address environmental issues. Proponents contend that in order to address environmental issues like climate change, people must employ their technological know-how. Solar energy and electric vehicles, for instance, are examples of technological solutions that can lower carbon emissions.

Ethics in Environmental Engineering

Geoengineering falls under the category of technological solutions in environmental ethics, but it raises several ethical and environmental issues, including the potential to undermine efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, governance of research and application, unequal risk sharing, and environmental effects.

Geoengineering may also support the technocratic and instrumentalist viewpoint while having unforeseen consequences that affect agricultural and natural ecosystems and disrupt rainfall patterns.

The idea of using geoengineering to combat climate change is becoming more and more common among scientists and decision-makers. Yet, it creates serious ethical issues, including unequal risk sharing, environmental repercussions, and control of research and deployment. We must approach technology with prudence and a thorough awareness of its potential effects even though it has a significant role to play in reducing environmental challenges.

In the end, combating climate change requires a comprehensive strategy that incorporates both technological advancements and modifications to cultural attitudes and habits.