cover of book

Geoengineering, Persuasion, and the Climate Crisis: A Geologic Rhetoric
by Ehren Helmut Pflugfelder
University of Alabama Press, 2023
Cloth: 978-0-8173-2142-0 | eISBN: 978-0-8173-9424-0
Library of Congress Classification TD171.9.P55 2023
Dewey Decimal Classification 628

A rhetorical exploration of an underexamined side of climate change—the ongoing research into and development of geoengineering strategies
Geoengineering, Persuasion, and the Climate Crisis: A Geologic Rhetoric exposes the deeply worrying state of discourse over geoengineering—the intentional manipulation of the earth’s climate as means to halt or reverse global warming. These climate-altering projects, which range from cloud-whitening to carbon dioxide removal and from stratospheric aerosol injection to enhanced weathering, are all technological solutions to more complex geosocial problems.

Geoengineering represents one of the most alarming forms of deliberative discourse in the twenty-first century. Yet geoengineering could easily generate as much harm as the environmental traumas it seeks to cure. Complicating these deliberations is the scarcity of public discussion. Most deliberations transpire within policy groups, behind the closed doors of climate-oriented startups, between subject-matter experts at scientific conferences, or in the disciplinary jargon of research journals. Further, much of this conversation occurs primarily in the West.

Ehren Helmut Pflugfelder makes clear how the deliberative rhetorical strategies coming from geoengineering advocates have been largely deceptive, hegemonic, deterministic, and exploitative. In this volume, he investigates how geoengineering proponents marshal geologic actors into their arguments—and how current discourse could lead to a greater exploitation of the earth in the future.

Pflugfelder’s goal is to understand the structure, content, purpose, and effect of these discourses, raise the alarm about their deliberative directions, and help us rethink our approach to the climate. In highlighting both the inherent problems of the discourses and the ways geologic rhetoric can be made productive, he attempts to give “the geologic” a place at the table to better understand the roles that all earth systems continue to play in our lives, now and for years to come.
Nearby on shelf for Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering: