New law review symposium issue on geoengineering

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Wil Burns

May 10, 2011, 8:34:58 PM5/10/11
to Climate Intervention (Geoengineering), geoengineering

The Stanford Journal of Law, Science & Policy has just published a special issue on climate geoengineering. The Table of Contents and the URL (open access) for the issue is listed below. wil


Dr. Wil Burns, Editor-in-Chief

Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy

2875 Shasta Road

Berkeley, CA 94708 USA

Ph:   650.281.9126

Fax: 510.473.3731

Journal home page:

SSRN site (selected publications): Skype ID: Wil.Burns


Teaching Climate Law & Policy Blog:


·       Geoengineering Governance Systems, Gregory E. Wannier, Megan Herzog, & Darrell Atkinson;

·       The Asilomar International Conference on Climate Intervention Technologies, Margaret Leinen;

·       Considerations on Governance for Climate Remediation Technologies: Lessons from the “Ozone Hole”, Richard Benedick;

·       The Limitations of Geoengineering Governance In A World of Uncertainty, Bidisha Banerjee;

·       Climate Geoengineering, Solar Radiation Management and its Implications for Intergenerational Equity, William C.G. Burns

·       Geoengineering and the Myth of Unilateralism: Pressures and Prospects for International Cooperation, Joshua B. Horton

Michael Hayes

May 10, 2011, 11:01:55 PM5/10/11
to, Climate Intervention (Geoengineering)
Thanks for posting this link. This was a very interesting read.

I read your contribution concerning intergenerational equity and have a question on one concept. I quote:

"Unfortunately, while a commitment to SRM geoengineering approaches in lieu of 
effective mitigation responses might prove effective and politically palatable for our 
generation, future generations may not feel the same way because of the threat posed by 
the “termination” effect."

I need help in understanding what would motivate a future generation to discard an active SRM effort due to the threat of the effects of discarding an active SRM effort. From a philosophical stand point, such a future generation, with that view, would simple be collectively suicidal. As such, should we be constrained by their irrational views (suicide is mainly considered irrational)? Your definition of intergenerational equity states "fairness in the utilization of resources between human generations past, present and future.". We, today, will be the "past" generation to this hypothetical future suicidal generation. Thus, the question comes to mind, in that: Do they not owe us, as a "past" generation, fairness in the utilization of resources (ie. SRM) if SRM is deemed by us as crucial to our generations' survival? Do we not owe them our survival so that they may even come into existence?

Is there a flaw in my logic? This issue does seem to me like Schrodinger's Cat is vigorously chasing a lifeless tail!

I do need help in understand the rational nature of your argument.


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