Future Imaginings

  • Jeremy BaskinEmail author


This Chapter is future focussed and therefore more speculative. It looks in particular at three dimensions expected to be relevant in shaping whether solar geoengineering (SGE) is embraced and deployed, or spurned and discarded. These are: the relevance of actual changes in climate and weather; the extent to which elites see SGE as essential to stabilising the dominant geo-political and socioeconomic order; and the degree to which SGE’s proponents are able to replace the predominantly dystopian vision which currently accompanies it. In relation to the last of these, the Chapter explores how paradigms of ‘development’ and the Anthropocene have begun to be mobilised by SGE’s advocates in the reframing of SGE as a positive project of modernity.


  1. Baskin, J. (2015). Paradigm dressed as epoch: The ideology of the Anthropocene. Environmental Values, 24, 9–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baskin, J. (2019). Global justice and the Anthropocene: Reproducing a development story. In F. Biermann & E. Lövbrand (Eds.), Anthropocene encounters: New directions in green political thinking (pp. 150–168). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Biermann, F. (2014). Earth system governance: World politics in the Anthropocene. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Buck, H. J. (2012). Geoengineering: Re-making climate for profit or humanitarian intervention? Development and Change, 43(1), 253–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Buck, H. J. (2018). Perspectives on solar geoengineering from Finnish Lapland: Local insights on the global imaginary of Arctic geoengineering. Geoforum, 91, 78–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Clémençon, R. (2016). The two sides of the Paris Climate Agreement: Dismal failure or historic breakthrough? Journal of Environment & Development, 25(1), 3–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Clingerman, F. (2014). Geoengineering, theology, and the meaning of being human. Zygon, 49(1), 6–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Crutzen, P. J. (2002). Geology of mankind. Nature, 415(6867), 23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Crutzen, P. J., & Schwägerl, C. (2011). Living in the Anthropocene: Toward a new Global Ethos. Opinion piece on Yale Environment 360 website, 24 January. Retrieved January 12, 2019, from
  10. Crutzen, P., & Stoermer, E. F. (2000). Have we entered the Anthropocene? Republished 31 October 2010 in IGBP Global Change Magazine. Retrieved January 12, 2019, from
  11. Dalby, S. (2013a). Security. In C. Death (Ed.), Critical environmental politics (pp. 229–237). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Dalby, S. (2013b). The geopolitics of climate change. Political Geography, 37, 38–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Easterly, W. (2006). The white man’s burden: Why the West’s efforts to aid the rest have done so much ill and so little good. New York: Penguin Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Escobar, A. (1995). Encountering development: The making and unmaking of the third world. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  15. ETC Group. (2013). Normalizing geoengineering as foreign aid. The Artificial Intelligence of Geoengineering Part 3. Blog post, 4 April. Retrieved January 12, 2019, from
  16. Ewick, P., & Silbey, S. (1995). Subversive stories and hegemonic tales: Toward a sociology of narrative. Law & Society Review, 29(2), 197–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Flegal, J. A., & Gupta, A. (2018). Evoking equity as a rationale for solar geoengineering research? Scrutinizing emerging expert visions of equity. International Environmental Agreements-Politics Law and Economics, 18(1), 45–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hamilton, C. (2013). Earthmasters: Playing god with the climate. Crow’s Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.Google Scholar
  19. Haywood, J. M., Jones, A., Bellouin, N., & Stephenson, D. (2013). Asymmetric forcing from stratospheric aerosols impacts Sahelian rainfall. Nature Climate Change, 3(7), 660–665.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Horton, J. (2014). Solar geoengineering: Reassessing costs, benefits, and compensation. Ethics, Policy & Environment, 17(2), 175–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Horton, J. B., Reynolds, J. L., Buck, H. J., Callies, D., Schaefer, S., Keith, D. W., et al. (2018). Solar geoengineering and democracy. Global Environmental Politics, 18(3), 5–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). (2001). Climate Change 2001: Synthesis report. In R. T. Watson & The Core Writing Team (Eds.), A contribution of Working Groups I, II, and III to the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  23. IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). (2013). Climate Change 2013: The physical science basis. In Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge, UK and New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  24. IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). (2018). Global warming of 1.5°C: An IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty. Geneva: World Meteorological OrganizationGoogle Scholar
  25. Jackson, L. S., Crook, J. A., Jarvis, A., Leedal, D., Ridgwell, A., Vaughan, N., et al. (2015). Assessing the controllability of Arctic sea ice extent by sulfate aerosol geoengineering. Geophysical Research Letters, 42(4), 1223–1231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Jasanoff, S. (2003). Technologies of humility: Citizen participation in governing science. Minerva, 41, 223–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Keith, D. W. (2013). A case for climate engineering. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lagmay, A. M. F., et al. (2015). Devastating storm surges of Typhoon Haiyan. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 11, 1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lynas, M. (2008). Six degrees: Our future on a hotter planet. Washington, DC: National Geographic.Google Scholar
  30. Lynas, M. (2011). The God species: How the planet can survive the age of humans. London: Fourth Estate.Google Scholar
  31. Marzec, R. P. (2015). Militarizing the environment: Climate change and the security state. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. McNeill, J. R., & Engelke, P. (2014). The great acceleration: An environmental history of the Anthropocene since 1945. Cambridge, MA and London: Belknap Press.Google Scholar
  33. Moyn, S. (2010). The last Utopia: Human rights in history. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Müller, T. R. (2013). The long shadow of band aid humanitarianism: Revisiting the dynamics between famine and celebrity. Third World Quarterly, 34(3), 470–484.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. NASA GISS. (2016). NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies Surface Temperature Analysis Website (GISTEMP). Retrieved January 8, 2019, from
  36. National Research Council (NRC). (2015). Climate intervention: Reflecting sunlight to cool Earth. Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences.Google Scholar
  37. Nixon, R. (2011). Slow violence and the environmentalism of the poor. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Nyvold, M. (2015, December 23). In Greenland, hopes for climate change to boost economy. Retrieved January 15, 2019, from
  39. Orford, A. (2011). International authority and the responsibility to protect. Cambridge, UK and New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Pahuja, S. (2011). Decolonising international law: Development, economic growth, and the politics of universality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Pongratz, J., Lobell, D. B., Cao, L., & Caldeira, K. (2012). Crop yields in a geoengineered climate. Nature Climate Change, 2(2), 101–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Reynolds, J. (2014). Response to Svoboda and Irvine. Ethics, Policy & Environment, 17(2), 183–185.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Ricke, K., Morgan, M. G., Apt, J., Victor, D. & Steinbruner, J. (2008). Unilateral geoengineering: Non-technical briefing notes for a workshop at the Council on Foreign Relations, Washington, DC, May 5, 2008. Retrieved January 9, 2019, from
  44. Rieff, D. (2005, June 24). Cruel to be kind? The Guardian. Retrieved January 12, 2019, from
  45. Rist, G. (1997). The history of development. London: Zed Books.Google Scholar
  46. Rockström, J., et al. (2009). Planetary boundaries: Exploring the safe operating space for humanity. Ecology and Society, 14(2), 32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Steffen, W., Crutzen, P., & McNeill, J. (2007). The Anthropocene: Are humans now overwhelming the great forces of nature? Ambio, 36(8), 614–621.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Steffen, W., et al. (2015). The trajectory of the Anthropocene: The great acceleration. The Anthropocene Review, 2(1), 81–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Stilgoe, J. (2015). Experiment earth: Responsible innovation in geoengineering. Abingdon: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Suarez, P., Blackstock, J., & Van Aalst, M. (2010, March 20). Towards a people-centered framework for geoengineering governance: A humanitarian perspective. The Geoengineering Quarterly. Retrieved January 12, 2019, from
  51. Suarez, P., & Van Aalst, M. K. (2017). Geoengineering: A humanitarian concern. Earth’s Future, 5(2), 183–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Szerszynski, B. (2013). A response to Bruno Latour’s lecture “Gaia: The new body politic”. Talk delivered at ‘The Holberg Prize Symposium 2013: From Economics to Ecology’ conference in Bergen, 4 June. Retrieved January 12, 2019, from
  53. Szerszynski, B. (2017). Coloring climates: Imagining a geoengineered world. In U. Heise, J. Christensen, & M. Niemann (Eds.), The Routledge companion to the environmental humanities (pp. 120–131). Abingdon, Oxon and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  54. UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change). (2015). Adoption of the Paris Agreement. FCCC/CP/2015/L.9/Rev.1. Conference of the Parties, Paris, 12 DecemberGoogle Scholar
  55. Urpelainen, J. (2012). Geoengineering and global warming: A strategic perspective. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 12(4), 375–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Victor, D. G. (2011). Global warming gridlock: Creating more effective strategies for protecting the planet. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Wagner, G., & Weitzman, M. L. (2015). Climate shock. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Walker, M., Gibbard, P., & Lowe, J. (2015). Comment on Jan Zalasiewicz et al. ‘When did the Anthropocene begin? A mid-twentieth century boundary is stratigraphically optimal. Quaternary International, 383, 196–203. Quaternary International, 383, 204–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. World Bank. (2013). Turn down the heat: Climate extremes, regional impacts, and the case for resilience. A report for the World Bank by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
  60. Zalasiewicz, J., et al. (2015). When did the Anthropocene begin? A mid-twentieth century boundary level is stratigraphically optimal. Quaternary International, 383, 196–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Melbourne School of GovernmentUniversity of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations