February 9, 2012
By S. Matthew Liao
A paper I’ve co-written with Anders Sandberg (Oxford) and Rebecca Roache (Oxford) entitled “Human Engineering and Climate Change” has been selected by Ethics, Policy, and Environment to be a Target Article for their next issue. The abstract of our paper is as follows:
Anthropogenic climate change is arguably one of the biggest problems that confront us today. There is ample evidence that climate change is likely to affect adversely many aspects of life for all people around the world, and that existing solutions such as geoengineering might be too risky and behavioural and market solutions might not be sufficient to mitigate climate change. In this paper, we consider a new kind of solution to climate change, what we call human engineering, which involves biomedical modifications of humans so that they can mitigate and/or adapt to climate change. We argue that human engineering is potentially less risky than geoengineering and that could help behavioural and market solutions succeed in mitigating climate change. We also consider some possible ethical concerns regarding human engineering such as its safety, the implications of human engineering for our children and for the society, and we argue that these concerns can be addressed. Our upshot is that human engineering deserves further consideration in the debate about climate change.
Ethics, Policy and the Environment is now soliciting approximately 4-6 open commentaries in response to this article. Potential commentators will be invited to write short 750-1500 word responses which will be published simultaneously with the lead target article.
If you would like to be considered as a peer commentator for this article, please contact EPE’s editorial assistant, Elizabeth Hall: elizabeth.hall (at) colorado.edu. Please explain in the e-mail that you would like to be considered as a peer commentator for this article and Elizabeth will send an advance version of the article back to you.
You can also get a penultimate version of the paper here.
For this article, EPE would like you to submit a short summary of your proposed Open Peer Commentary (no more than 150 words) by 5:00 pm, MST, Monday, February 20. If your peer commentary is selected, you will then have until Monday, March 12 to submit your full commentary.
If you are not familiar with the format of open peer commentaries, you can read more about it here: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/cepe. Volumes 14(3) and 15 (1) included commentaries on the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster by Kristin Shrader-Frechette, Ibo van der Pol, Kenneth Shockley, Thom Brooks, Paul Kelleher, Deborah Oughton, and Benham Taebi, among others. 14(3) is now available online, and 15(1) will be available in March.