Skip to main content
The ethics of geoengineering: Moral considerability and the convergence hypothesis
Journal of Applied Philosophy
  • Toby Svoboda, Fairfield University
Document Type
Publication Date

Although it could avoid some harmful effects of climate change, sulphate aerosol geoengineering ( SAG), or injecting sulphate aerosols into the stratosphere in order to reflect incoming solar radiation, threatens substantial harm to humans and non-humans. I argue that SAG is prima facie ethically problematic from anthropocentric, animal liberationist, and biocentric perspectives. This might be taken to suggest that ethical evaluations of SAG can rely on Bryan Norton's convergence hypothesis, which predicts that anthropocentrists and non-anthropocentrists will agree to implement the same or similar environmental policies. However, there are potential scenarios in which anthropocentrists and non-anthropocentrists would seem to diverge on whether a particular SAG policy ought to be implemented. This suggests that the convergence hypothesis should not be relied on in ethical evaluation of SAG. Instead, ethicists should consider the merits and deficiencies of both non-anthropocentric perspectives and the ethical evaluations of SAG such perspectives afford. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Copyright 2012 Wiley. A link to full-link has been provided for authorized subscribers.

Published Citation
Svoboda, Toby. "The ethics of geoengineering: Moral considerability and the convergence hypothesis." Journal of Applied Philosophy 29.3 (2012): 243-256. 10.1111/j.1468-5930.2012.00568.x
Citation Information
Toby Svoboda. "The ethics of geoengineering: Moral considerability and the convergence hypothesis" Journal of Applied Philosophy Vol. 29 Iss. 3 (2012)
Available at: