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Geoengineering: Reflections on Current Debates

In this paper we propose to investigate the current debates on geoengineering, here considered as an illustrative metaphor of particular technoscientific promises and ‘techno-fix’ narratives that are emerging in our society. After a brief introduction, where we provide the necessary background to understand the complex issues surrounding geoengineering, we discuss the relevance of this investigation. We then proceed to explore the controversies behind geoengineering, which start with its own definition. The analysis of the current debates around geoengineering experimentation, regulation and deployment reveal some of the dominant narratives of technoscientific progress and highlight important tensions and frictions in the relationship between science, policy and society. A reflection on these issues suggests the relevance of developing alternative approaches to furthering the ‘democratisation and de alienation’ of geoengineering debates, thus responding to a perceived need for more careful consideration of the normative assumptions that lie behind the idea of deliberately manipulating Earth's climate to offset anthropogenic climate change.