Climate Engineering: Between Science and Fiction
Chronus Art Center (BLDG. 18, NO.50 Moganshan RD., Putuo District, Shanghai)
Reading Material Cost:
“The idea that humanity makes its own history and does so against the backdrop of the Earth’s slow unconscious evolution is deeply implicated in modernity. We are accustomed to thinking of humans, having emerged from the primordial darkness, as independent entities living and acting on a separate physical world, a world we plough up, mine, build on and move over but which nevertheless has an independent existence and destiny. This understanding of the autonomy of humans from nature runs deep in modern thinking; we believe we are rational creatures, arisen from nature, but independent of its great unfolding processes.”
—— Clive Hamilton, Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering
About the Topic
Anthropogenic climate change today affects not just the atmosphere but the chemical composition of the oceans (acidification), the biosphere (species extinctions and shifting habitats), the cryosphere (melting ice masses) and the lithosphere itself. In the face of the unprecedented global crisis brought about by climate change, will mankind be able to shift our perspective and throw into question the anthropocentric worldview that has dominated western, modernist thinking: the idea that man as an autonomous subject, while being separate from nature, enjoys unlimited power to conquer, modify nature at will and eventually transcend everything in the universe? In the international community, what makes possible the co-existence of the denial of climate change and the support of climate engineering? What is climate engineering, both its overall strategies and their scientific and technological basis? Are we able to predict the consequences these methods may incur? How does carbon emission reduction as a method to mitigate global warming become trapped in the prisoner’s dilemma? We will examine these questions during our reading group’s first meeting on Sunday, August 19th. Some selected art projects created by artists in collaboration with scientists and engineers will also provide us with different and critical perspectives to look at climate issues.
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