Some Excellent Non-Scientific Reasons to Reject Climate Change Denial

Everybody wants a white Christmas. In Erie, Pennsylvania they certainly got it.  On Christmas Day they received 34 inches of snow and by midweek they had received over 65 inches of the white stuff. In the central and northeastern parts of the U.S., bitter air from Canada reduced temperatures to record lows in the period …

Gene Drives and the Hijacking of Origins

Over the last thirty years, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have struggled to gain the confidence of consumers.  In the European Union, many member states have maintained virtual moratoria on their use in agriculture. Even in the less precautionary U.S., where only the weakest of labeling laws have ever made it through Congress, surveys show that …

Wrapping Glaciers, Making Clouds, and Reflecting Sunlight

An image in the online Encyclopaedia Britannica illustrating the various strategies for climate engineering has always bothered me. Alongside the highly technical and speculative proposal of placing orbiting mirrors in space to intercept the sun’s rays sits the highly unsophisticated and low-tech proposal of wrapping melting glaciers with huge sheets of white fabric. The juxtaposition …

Albert Borgmann Reflecting on Facebook and the iPhone

On occasions this blog will have guest posts by authors who have expertise in areas related to our central themes.  We are lucky to hear today from Albert Borgmann, a world renowned philosopher of technology and author of Technology and the Character of Contemporary Life. Here Borgmann reflects on Facebook and the iPhone and the hidden …

The Ethics of a Global Sunshade

Earlier this month, a major international conference on climate engineering* (also known as ‘geoengineering’) wrapped up in Berlin attracting headlines around the world. Next week, I’m travelling to a smaller academic meeting on the ethics and governance of climate engineering research. Next year, two outdoor tests of climate modification technologies are scheduled to begin. The …