The debates between those who believe that geoengineering the temperature of the atmosphere of the Earth is an inevitability, and those who believe it can be avoided, seems set to intensify in the near future.
The philosophical view that I have been developing is a broad view which sees the current epoch of technological development as a particular stage in the evolution of a 'successful' life-inhabiting planet. By taking such a broad approach, and by seeing that this stage is actually in the interests of the totality of life on Earth, I have been able to provide a particular perspective on these debates. It is clear to me that life on Earth is currently in a great state of excitement as it brings forth the technological armour which will help to ensure its future existence. To cut straight to the conclusion, this means that the existing geoengineering debates can be seen from a different perspective. The 'inevitability' of geoengineering should not be seen, as it traditionally is, as a 'last resort', as something which is a bad thing, as something which only has to be resorted to because of the damage that humans have done due to their 'selfish ways'. For sure, all this might be true. But there is a bigger picture, and in this picture we can see the cosmic inevitability of the outcome. We can see that this 'inevitable outcome' is a 'good thing' which is in the interests of life.
The geoengineering debate is typically framed in terms of how human societies, and their environmental impacts, could change in the immediate future. Some might assert: "we can change, we can reduce our future impacts to such an extent that geoengineering can be avoided". Those who are pro-geoengineering reply that: "this is exceedingly unlikely". The debate is thus framed around how much human societies can change their future environmental impacts. In my books I have tried to convince the reader that geoengineering the temperature of the atmosphere is the goal which life has striven for for millions and millions of years. From this perspective it is an inevitability. The only question is when people en masse realise that this is so. My different perspective on the debate seems to be 'ahead of the curve'. I am glad to see a gradually increasing realisation of the inevitability. Hopefully, soon there will also be a growing realisation that such an outcome is not something to be undertaken with regret, but that it is an outcome which is a cause of celebration for all life on Earth.
Here are some examples of the growing realisation of the inevitability:
1 In the recently released Tulsa Law Review (Volume 46, Spring 2011, No. 2) Jay Michaelson gives a paper entitled: "Geoengineering and Climate Management: From Marginality to Inevitability".
2 In May 2012 there is to be a conference at the University of Oxford (Institute for Science and Ethics) entitled: "Geoengineering: Science, politics and ethics". This is the conference introduction:
"With the failure of international negotiations, global greenhouse gas emissions are now on a trajectory that is worse than the worst-case scenario. As a result, climate scientists are beginning to contemplate a response to climate change that has previously been taboo, geoengineering—the intentional, enduring, large-scale manipulation of the Earth’s climate system. This series of six lectures will cover the broad range of issues raised by the emergence of climate engineering as a response to climate change."
As is normally the case, the geoengineering "result" is seen as a response to "failure". Instead, let us see the result as a cause for celebration, as the outcome which life has been seeking to attain for a very long time!