Accepted paper:

Constitutional climates: solar geoengineering in the co-production of climate expertise and global order

Authors:

Stefan Schäfer (Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies)
Gabriel Dorthe (Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies)

Paper short abstract:

We present a set of preliminary observations of solar geoengineering, comparing the problem diagnoses on which it relies, what is promised in its name, and how it is sustained (or not) as climate expertise is co-produced with political, ethical and normative choices.

Paper long abstract:

The emergence of solar geoengineering needs to be studied as a constitutional moment in the reshaping of global order, in which scientific-technical expertise is co-produced with political, ethical and normative choices. However, despite the global questions at stake, the shaping and reshaping of global order is not a universally uniform process. Instead, any approach that focuses solely on the global level risks glossing over the important particularities that shape different national contexts, and even more the unequal ability of various groups of actors in defining the problems and choosing alternatives. STS scholars have shown in great detail how approaching the question of governance requires intermediate research steps and a precise description of the various actors, institutions, and practices involved. We examine the uneven present of solar geoengineering, its uncertain future, and, crucially, alternative imaginings of the governance challenges that research and deployment of solar geoengineering pose. To this end, we present a set of preliminary observations of solar geoengineering, comparing the problem diagnoses on which it relies, what is promised in its name, and how it is sustained (or not) in dynamics of co-production.

panel C18
Open questions in STS and geoengineering