Book Launch: Geoengineering, the Anthropocene and the End of Nature
This event, hosted by the Melbourne School of Government, is to celebrate and launch a new book by Jeremy Baskin, titled Geoengineering, the Anthropocene and the End of Nature. Jeremy is a Senior Research Fellow at the Melbourne School of Government. The book, published by Palgrave, will be launched by Professor Robyn Eckersley, Professor of Politics in the School of Social and Political Science.
The book takes a critical look at solar geoengineering as an acceptable means for addressing climate change. It explores the assumptions and imaginaries which animate ‘engineering the climate’ and discusses why this climate solution is so controversial. The book explains geoengineering’s past, its revival in the mid-2000s, and its future prospects including its shadow presence in the Paris climate accord. The main focus however is on dissecting solar geoengineering today – its rationales, underpinning knowledge, relationship to power, and the stance towards nature which accompanies it. Baskin explores three competing imaginaries associated with geoengineering: an Imperial imaginary, an oppositional Un-Natural imaginary, and a conspiratorial Chemtrail imaginary. He seeks to explain why solar geoengineering has struggled to gain approval and why resistance to it persists, despite the support of several powerful actors. He provocatively suggests that reconceptualising our present as the Anthropocene might unwittingly facilitate the normalisation of geoengineering by providing a sustaining socio-technical imaginary.
Professor Robyn Eckersley, Professor of Politics
Professor Robyn Eckersley
Professor of Politics
School of Social and Political Sciences, The University of Melbourne
Robyn Eckersley was educated at the University of Western Australia, Cambridge University (UK) and the University of Tasmania, and taught political science at Monash University from 19922001 before joining the University of Melbourne in 2002. She has published widely in the fields of environmental governance, politics, political theory and international relations, with a special focus on the ethics, politics and governance of climate change. Her book The Green State: Rethinking Democracy and Sovereignty (2004) won the Melbourne Woodward Medal in 2005 for the best research in Humanities and Social Sciences and was runner up in the International Studies Association’s Sprout Award for 2005 for the best book on Environmental Studies. In 2019 she received a Distinguished Scholar Award from the Environmental Studies Section of the International Studies Association. She has served as an invited Visiting Professor at the Research Center for Global Welfare, The Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Chiba University in Japan in 2008, a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford in 2009; as the Arne Naess Chair in Global Justice and the Environment at the University of Oslo in the northern winter of 2010 2011; and she was awarded the Kerstin Hesselgren Visiting Professorship in Social Sciences by the Swedish Research Council in 2018, which she took up at Lund University in 2019. She was elected as Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia in 2007. In service to her Discipline, Robyn Eckersley has served as Chair of the Organising Committee of the Second Oceanic Conference on International Studies (OCIS II), held at the University of Melbourne in 2006, the Sixth OCIS VI, held at the University of Melbourne on 2014; and as Chair of the Oceanic Conference on International Studies Transition Committee. She is also Coconvenor/Treasurer of the Australian Political Studies Association Environmental Policy and Politics Research Standing Group. She has been a member of the Executive of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute since 2011. In the Faculty of Arts she has served as Director of the Master of International Relations Program 20112012 and 2017, and in the School of Social and Political Sciences she has held the position of Chair of the Discipline of Political Science from 20082010, 20142015 and 2018. She is also a Member of the following Editorial Advisory Boards: Environmental Politics New Political Economy Global Environmental Politics Ethics, Policy and Environment (formerly Ethics, Place and Environment) International Theory: A Journal of International Politics, Law and Philosophy Ethics and International Affairs