Geoengineering the climate and ethical challenges: what we can learn from moral emotions and art

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Abstract

Climate change is an urgent problem, requiring ways and approaches to address it. Possible solutions are mitigation, adaptation and deployment of geoengineering. In this article we argue that geoengineering gives rise to ethical challenges of its own. Reflecting on these ethical challenges requires approaches that go beyond conventional, quantitative methods of risk assessment. Quantitative methods leave out important ethical considerations such as justice, fairness, autonomy and legitimacy. We argue that emotions and art can play an important role in ethical deliberation about geoengineering. Emotions can point out what morally matters. We also examine the role that works of art can play. Recently, artists have become involved with risky technologies. We argue that such artworks can contribute to emotional-moral reflection and public deliberation on geoengineering, by making abstract problems more concrete, letting us broaden narrow personal perspectives, exploring new scenarios, and challenging our imagination.

Keywords

  • art
  • climate
  • emotions
  • ethics
  • Geoengineering
  • risk

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