Friday, February 19, 2010: 8:30 AM-11:30 AM
Room 6E (San Diego Convention Center)Today’s world has been called the “Anthropocene,” roughly, the era of humans. It is increasingly characterized by complex, integrated human/natural/built systems. Because the dialogs on global systems of concern, such as climate change, are relatively young, however, they still reflect the dominance of the discourses from which they arise, predominantly scientific and environmental. Because these systems integrate across many different disciplines, from economics and cultural preferences, to different and in some cases mutually exclusive ideologies, purely scientific or environmental approaches, while of great relevance, are insufficient in themselves to achieve the understanding and subsequent policy development that will lead to robust and sustainable progress. Moreover, the failure to expand the relevant discussions leads to brittle and vulnerable initiatives that are prone to failure and, when they do fail, do so without any backup options (some have argued that the Kyoto Treaty process is an example of this). To explore some of these dynamics within the limitations of a brief set of presentations, the session focuses on geoengineering as a response to climate change, from an engineering and social science perspective, rather than the climate change science perspective, which has until now dominated the discussion and which tends to reflect a mono-ontological approach with inadequate legal, political, or economic sophistication.
Brad Allenby, Arizona State University
Peter A. Wilderer, European Academy of Sciences and Arts