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Systems Thinking for Geoengineering Policy : How to Reduce the Threat of Dangerous Climate Change by
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Even by the scientists most closely associated with it, geoengineering – the deliberate intervention in the climate at global scale to mitigate the effects of climate change – is perceived to be risky. For all its potential benefits, there are robust differences of opinion over the wisdom of such an intervention.
Systems Thinking for Geoengineering Policy is the first book to theorise geoengineering in terms of complex adaptive systems theory and to argue for the theoretical imperative of adaptive management as the default methodology for an effective low risk means of confronting the inescapable uncertainty and surprise that characterise potential climate futures. The book illustrates how a shift from the conventional Enlightenment paradigm of linear reductionist thinking, in favour of systems thinking, would promote policies that are robust against the widest range of plausible futures rather than optimal only for the most likely, and also unlock the policy paralysis caused by making long term predictions of policy outcomes a prior condition for policy formulation. It also offers some systems driven reflections on a global governance network for geoengineering.
This book is a valuable resource for all those with an interest in climate change policy, geoengineering, and CAS theory, including academics, under- and postgraduate students and policymakers.
This is the first book to theorise geoengineering in terms of complex adaptive systems theory and to argue for the theoretical imperative of adaptive management as the default methodology for policymakers and civil society alike, whenever confronted with demands for near-term policy directed at long-term outcomes. It analyses the theory, practice and implications of this innovative approach, showing how it will allow policymakers to identify and reconcile the interests of current and future generations, as well as the global population, in a field where experiments and intervention will have international and unpredictable consequences. The book opens up new policy possibilities and identifies where systems thinking can be extended to other policy arenas.