FOEA Emerging tech Project

National Academy of Sciences backs untested technologies in the face of climate inaction

What would a sane society say about a corporatised society that brings the planet to a point of collapse through economic and political systems based on endless exploitation, greed and growth and then desperately searches for ways to solve the problem using the same system? According to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predictions we are currently on track for 4°C warming by the end of the century.  As Professor Schellnhuber,...

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Climate engineering will never stop climate change

Injecting particles into the stratosphere to shade and cool the Earth will never stop climate change. This is the dramatic claim made in the July 2014 issue of Nature Climate Change by an international group of prominent scientists. In theory, the amount of solar radiation that falls on the Earth can be limited quite simply by dispersing fine sulphate particles in the stratosphere. The group of scientists investigated whether applying solar...

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The use of techno-utopian narratives to further corporate control

Techno-utopianism (n.) − any ideology based on the belief that advances in science and technology will eventually bring about a utopia, or at least help to fulfil one or another utopian ideal. It is tempting to dismiss techno-utopian views as the realm of fringe dwellers − largely irrelevant to the workings of the world. After all, techno-utopianism has been around an awfully long time with not a lot of utopia to show for it. The view that...

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Geopiracy: Patent law, climate change, and geoengineering

Patent law is a regime of intellectual property, which provides exclusive rights regarding scientific inventions, which are novel, inventive, and useful. There has been much debate over the limits of patentable subject matter relating to emerging technologies. The Supreme Court of the US has sought to rein in the expansive interpretation of patentability by lower courts in a series of cases dealing with medical information (Prometheus), finance...

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The New Sorcerer’s Apprentices?

Climate scientists have watched with mounting alarm as carbon dioxide concentrations have increased relentlessly. The anxiety has deepened each year as it has become clearer that the range of emissions paths mapped out by experts in the 1990s and early 2000s were unduly optimistic. The actual growth in emissions – boosted by explosive growth in China – is worse than the worst-case scenario. Alarm has spread to staid organisations,...

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