Event Title

Ethics, Policy, and the Obama Administration

Location

Dining Room, Carnegie Institution for Science

Event Website

http://ipsonet.org/web/page/512/sectionid/375/pagelevel/2/interior.asp

Start Date

4-12-2023 10:00 AM

End Date

4-12-2023 11:00 AM

Description

Chair: Guillermo De Los Reyes, University of Houston

Shane J. Ralston
Engineering an Artful and Ethical Solution to the Problem of Global Warming.
Abstract: The idea of geoengineering, or the intentional modification of the Earth’s atmosphere to reverse the global warming trend, has entered a working theory stage, finding expression in a variety of proposed projects, such as launching reflective materials into the Earth’s atmosphere, positioning sunshades over the planet’s surface, depositing iron fillings into the oceans to encourage phytoplankton blooms and planting more trees, to name only a few. However, geoengineering might not be as promising a solution to the problem of global warming as its advocates claim. Many scientists, policy-makers and ethicists still dismiss the option as infeasible and too risky given the immense scale at which most geoengineering projects must be instituted and the catastrophic consequences that could, in all likelihood, result. The thesis of this paper is that geoengineering should not be so easily dismissed in policy debates concerning how to mitigate the anthropogenic emissions of global greenhouse gases. My plan is to investigate the desirability of the geoengineering option for addressing global climate change in terms of its capacity to overcome collective action issues, to accommodate ethical norms and to provide an artful, or creative, response to the problem. In the first section, a general picture of the global warming problem and the particulars of some proposed geoengineering projects are laid out. The second section frames the issue as a collective action problem that demands an innovative approach to coordinating individual and group action. In the third section, I reveal six ethical quandaries that emerge in global climate change debates and how they complicate any attempts to ameliorate or resolve the problem. The penultimate section shows how the ideas and activism of two twentieth-century titans in philosophy and ecology—John Dewey and Aldo Leopold, respectively—might be combined to address the problem of global warming through artful inquiry and the adoption of an Earth ethic. Finally, I conclude by arguing that a fundamental shift in perspective must occur if we are to take intentional climate change seriously as a possible, even if a second-best, tool in the environmentalist’s tool-kit.

Lenneal J. Henderson
The Energy/Environment Policy Nexus in the Obama Administration.
Abstract and paper objectives: Using the concept of “policy issue networks” first introduced by Hugh Heclo, this paper argues that the Obama Administration seeks to strongly interrelate energy, environmental, economic, urban and foreign policy, particularly as reflected in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act;
Given these policy issue networks, the second objective of the paper is to argue that significant policy innovation derives from successful integration of policy tools across, as well as within, policy domains like energy and environment;
A third objective is to introduce within the policy issue network framework as theory of institutional change derived from the work of North, Frontera, Holdren and Rycroft. Innovation requires institutional alteration and innovation and, occasionally, entirely new institutions. The extent to which these institutional innovations achieve their interim and ultimate policy outcomes is significantly related to policy success. The Obama Administration’s strategy is to pursue energy and environmental objectives both within and beyond existing institutional complexes at the federal, state, local and even international levels;
A fourth objective of the paper is to briefly introduce three case studies demonstrating innovation in the Obama administration: a) investments in household energy efficiency; (b) the more than 10,000 transportation infrastructure projects launched by the Obama stimulus; and c) renewable energy initiatives funded by the Administration to extend use of renewable energy in the electric power grid; and
A final objective of the presentation is to synthesize from the concepts and cases a theory of technological innovation in a new presidential administration acting under conditions of extreme economic duress.

Import Event to Google Calendar

 
Dec 4th, 10:00 AM Dec 4th, 11:00 AM

Ethics, Policy, and the Obama Administration

Dining Room, Carnegie Institution for Science

Chair: Guillermo De Los Reyes, University of Houston

Shane J. Ralston
Engineering an Artful and Ethical Solution to the Problem of Global Warming.
Abstract: The idea of geoengineering, or the intentional modification of the Earth’s atmosphere to reverse the global warming trend, has entered a working theory stage, finding expression in a variety of proposed projects, such as launching reflective materials into the Earth’s atmosphere, positioning sunshades over the planet’s surface, depositing iron fillings into the oceans to encourage phytoplankton blooms and planting more trees, to name only a few. However, geoengineering might not be as promising a solution to the problem of global warming as its advocates claim. Many scientists, policy-makers and ethicists still dismiss the option as infeasible and too risky given the immense scale at which most geoengineering projects must be instituted and the catastrophic consequences that could, in all likelihood, result. The thesis of this paper is that geoengineering should not be so easily dismissed in policy debates concerning how to mitigate the anthropogenic emissions of global greenhouse gases. My plan is to investigate the desirability of the geoengineering option for addressing global climate change in terms of its capacity to overcome collective action issues, to accommodate ethical norms and to provide an artful, or creative, response to the problem. In the first section, a general picture of the global warming problem and the particulars of some proposed geoengineering projects are laid out. The second section frames the issue as a collective action problem that demands an innovative approach to coordinating individual and group action. In the third section, I reveal six ethical quandaries that emerge in global climate change debates and how they complicate any attempts to ameliorate or resolve the problem. The penultimate section shows how the ideas and activism of two twentieth-century titans in philosophy and ecology—John Dewey and Aldo Leopold, respectively—might be combined to address the problem of global warming through artful inquiry and the adoption of an Earth ethic. Finally, I conclude by arguing that a fundamental shift in perspective must occur if we are to take intentional climate change seriously as a possible, even if a second-best, tool in the environmentalist’s tool-kit.

Lenneal J. Henderson
The Energy/Environment Policy Nexus in the Obama Administration.
Abstract and paper objectives: Using the concept of “policy issue networks” first introduced by Hugh Heclo, this paper argues that the Obama Administration seeks to strongly interrelate energy, environmental, economic, urban and foreign policy, particularly as reflected in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act;
Given these policy issue networks, the second objective of the paper is to argue that significant policy innovation derives from successful integration of policy tools across, as well as within, policy domains like energy and environment;
A third objective is to introduce within the policy issue network framework as theory of institutional change derived from the work of North, Frontera, Holdren and Rycroft. Innovation requires institutional alteration and innovation and, occasionally, entirely new institutions. The extent to which these institutional innovations achieve their interim and ultimate policy outcomes is significantly related to policy success. The Obama Administration’s strategy is to pursue energy and environmental objectives both within and beyond existing institutional complexes at the federal, state, local and even international levels;
A fourth objective of the paper is to briefly introduce three case studies demonstrating innovation in the Obama administration: a) investments in household energy efficiency; (b) the more than 10,000 transportation infrastructure projects launched by the Obama stimulus; and c) renewable energy initiatives funded by the Administration to extend use of renewable energy in the electric power grid; and
A final objective of the presentation is to synthesize from the concepts and cases a theory of technological innovation in a new presidential administration acting under conditions of extreme economic duress.

http://www.psocommons.org/dupont_summit/2009/schedule/5