“It is much easier for us to imagine the end of the world than a small change in the political system”, Slavoj Zizek famously said. The same is true for altering the earth climate system according to a recent report by the Canadian ETC-Group, BiofuelWatch and the German Heinrich-Böll-Foundation: The Big Bad Fix (PDF, 1.5MB).
The Paris Agreement from 2015 agreed to limit the increase of the global temperature to “well below 2 degrees” and to “pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels” before the end of this century. But instead of advancing necessary measures (real emission cuts, fundamental change of the energy matrix, industrial production and consumption patterns), the concept of “negative emissions” – the idea that it is possible to avoid cutting GHG emissions drastically if emissions are offset by different technological (or other) means – has gained traction. The buzz word is Geo-Engineering, a techno-fix for climate change. And unsurprisingly, the potential for harm is significant.
Thus, the prospect of controlling global temperatures raises serious questions of power and justice: Who gets to control the Earth’s thermostat and adjust the climate for their own interests? Who will make the decision to deploy if such drastic measures are considered technically feasible, and whose interests will be ignored? The briefing begins to unpack these critical questions.
Download the full report on the ETC Group theme page.