[pccgrads] FW: The Science and Ethics of Geoengineering

UW PCC uwpcc at u.washington.edu
Mon Dec 1 09:41:21 PST 2014

From: THOMAS P. ACKERMAN [mailto:tpa2 at uw.edu]
Sent: Monday, December 01, 2014 9:38 AM
To: grads at atmos.washington.edu; UW PCC
Cc: Melissa P. Pritchard
Subject: The Science and Ethics of Geoengineering

Good morning,

Steve Gardiner of the Philosophy department and I will be co-teaching a
course on geoengineering science and ethics in Winter Quarter (course
description below). We are looking for about 20 students, 10 from the
climate side and 10 from the ethics/humanities side. I would like to limit
the climate students to graduate students but am happy to have students from
Atmospheric Sciences, Oceanography, and Earth and Space Sciences, as well as
other science departments. We will meet for two hours each week late
Wednesday afternoon (3:30 to 5:30). We will also have several guest
speakers. The course listing is ATMS 591 on the climate science and will be
for 4 hours of credit.

We expect that the course will involve a lot of reading of current papers in
science, ethics and governance. These papers will be discussed in a
lecture/discussion framework each week. In addition, students will work in
small groups on a quarter-long project and present the project reports to
the class.

If you are planning on signing up for this class, please contact me as soon
as possible. I expect that we will have no trouble filling our ten slots, so
would like to get commitments from those who are interested. If you have any
questions, please feel free to contact me.


Tom Ackerman

Ethics, Science and Geoengineering

Geoengineering - roughly the intentional technological manipulation of the
planetary environment on a global scale - is becoming a hot topic in climate
change circles, as well as in the broader science and ethics communities. In
this interdisciplinary course, we will consider the science of
geoengineering and the ethical and governance considerations at stake. We
will highlight interventions such as stratospheric sulfate injection, marine
cloud brightening, and direct air capture. Scientifically, we will look at
the mechanism, how they affect the climate system, and what is the level of
uncertainty. Ethical topics wil include emergency arguments for
geoengineering, moral hazard, justice, political legitimacy, hubris, and,
especially, possible regulation of geoengineering research and deployment.
We will discuss work from leading authors such as Ralph Cicerone, Paul
Crutzen, Clive Hamilton, Mike Hulme, Dale Jamieson and David Keith, as well
as influential reports from the Royal Society and the National Research
Council. We are looking for strong team of advanced undergraduates and
graduate students with background in ethics, politics, policy, and related
disciplines. Versions of the course are cross-listed in Atmospheric
Sciences, Environmental Studies and Philosophy. Please do not hesitate to
contact the instructor for further details.

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