Human Engineering and Climate Change

S. Matthew Liao, Anders Sandberg, Rebecca Roache

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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 ordinary 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 it 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 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-221
Number of pages16
JournalEthics, Policy and Environment
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Philosophy
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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