Much of the lengthy post seems devoted to highly rhetorical nitpicking, but it is fun to read:
No, I am saying that the futurological discourse of “geo-engineering” actually functions to create the appearance of a phenomenon where there is none, it functions as futurological frames tend to do as a derangement of sense, a distraction from substance onto non-substance, a substitute of frivolous over-generalities and hyperbolic promises for deliberation about actually complex, actually contingent technodevelopmental problems with a diversity of stakeholders.
I agree with Amor Mundi that the definition of geoengineering that I gave in my post (“engaging in some type of deliberate intervention to alter the planet and thereby counteract global warming”) was probably too broad. Chalk it up to blogspeed; but of course, we both know what we’re talking about. And if you change “deliberate intervention” to “large-scale, deliberate, and immediate technological intervention” then we’re probably fine.
But even this definition is not as good as Amor Mundi’s version contribution: “a ramifying suite of mega-engineering wet-dreams.” Now that is a definition.
There is a good point here–all “geoengineering” is not the same:
Not to put too fine a point on it, the notion of “geo-engineering” seems to me to subsume far too many actually substantially different techniques in the service of far too many actually substantially different outcomes to be of much practical use in any of the deliberations into which it is being injected so enthusiastically by futurologists.
Yes, and similarly, the term “New Atheists” is often used to describe a group of people who aren’t necessarily homogeneous. Still, the concepts are not meaningless; and they are useful.
I really object to this, though:
To the extent that the glossy mega-engineering fantasies of “geo-engineering” futurologists distract our attention from the efforts of more mainstream-legible educational, agitational, organizational, and regulatory environmentalist efforts — or take for granted the failure of these — they should be seen as a second wave of denialism. This time the denialism is not about the fact or human causation of climate catastrophe itself (since “geo-engineering” contains an implicit admission of both of these), but a denialism about the possibility or effectiveness of any democratic response to that crisis.
But what if it is completely accurate and realistic to question whether we seem capable of an adequate response to climate change? To doubt this capacity makes us–us here includes many top scientists–into denialists?
That’s just weird.