Fighting Fire with Fire - Climate Modification and Ethics in the Anthropocene

When:29 Jul 2014, 6pm - 8pm
30 Jul 2014, 9am - 5pm
Venue:Sydney University and UNSW Australia
Who:See below
Fighting fire

First proposed in the mid-1960s, climate modification and direct weather manipulation have a long history and debates about deploying these technologies to mitigate human-induced global warming have been in the background of international climate change policy for some time. In the context of the collective exasperation with the slow progress of international climate change policies there is renewed interest in scientific and policy circles in a suite of technologies through which to engineer the world’s climate. Techniques as diverse as the injection of sulphate particles into the upper atmosphere to deflect radiant energy away from the earth, the use of ocean fertilisation to promote algae growth, and the burial of charred biomass to promote carbon sequestration, are now being openly discussed as constituting a possible “Plan B” response to human-induced global warming.

“It seems,” Nigel Clark argues that we are “gearing up to fight fire with fire.” These proposals raise of host of profound social, ethical and normative questions. By bringing together an interdisciplinary group of contemporary scholars, this symposium aims to develop modes of socio-theoretical intervention that articulate the challenges posed by geoengineering and climate modification. The event will situate the geopolitical and economic milieus in which geoengineering research is being undertaken, in consideration with notions of ethics, responsibility and governance in the face of catastrophe.

Practical Information

The first evening lecture by Prof. Stephen Gardiner (Tuesday 29th July), will be held in the Law School Foyer, Level 2, Sydney Law School, Eastern Avenue, The University of Sydney. Please see the campus map here: http://sydney.edu.au/law/about/campus.shtml

The “Fighting Fire: Climate Modification and Ethics in the Anthropocene” workshop (Wednesday 30th July ) will be held in room 119 of the John Goodsell Building, UNSW. The John Goodsell Building is at F20 on the UNSW Campus Map available at: http://tinyurl.com/ovth6rz

The Masterclass With Nigel Clark (Thursday 31st July) will be held in room 309 of the Morven Brown Building,UNSW. The Morven Brown Building is at C20 on the UNSW Campus Map.

Workshop Programme 


Click here to download the full programme (PDF) [2 Mb]

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View event poster  (PDF) [2 Mb]


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