Climate engineering is a dystopian project. But as the human species hurtles ever faster towards its own extinction, geoengineering as a temporary fix, to buy time for carbon removal, is a seductive idea. We are right to fear that geoengineering will be used to maintain the status quo, but is there another possible future after geoengineering? Can these technologies and practices be used to bring carbon levels back down to pre-industrial levels? Are there possibilities for massive intentional intervention in the climate that are democratic, decentralised, or participatory?
These questions are provocative, because they go against a binary that has become common sense: geoengineering is assumed to be on the side of industrial agriculture, inequality and ecomodernism, in opposition to degrowth, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and climate justice. After Geoengineering rejects this binary, to ask: what if the people seized the means of climate production? Both critical and utopian, the book examines the possible futures after geoengineering. Rejecting the idea that geoengineering is some kind of easy work-around, Holly Buck outlines the kind of social transformation that would be necessary to enact a programme of geoengineering in the first place.
“This is the guide to the future. There’s hardly anything scarier than geoengineering, but it is coming towards us, closer for every day of CO2 spewed into the air. It can no longer be wished away – and thankfully, we have Holly Jean Buck to explain what it might look like and how it could be survived, perhaps even used for the good of the planet. Written in graceful prose, combining the latest science with the crystal ball of a sci-fi author, this book shines. Anyone worried about what comes next should read it.”
“A limpid synthesis of elegy and urgency. Unflinching about what looms for the world, Holly Buck outlines radical, transformative demands and agendas for a least-bad way forward, in the service of better ways thereafter.”
“In the face of rapid climate change, how should we think about geoengineering? In this timely and bold book, Holly Jean Buck lays out a case for approaching geoengineering from the Left. Blending journalistic insight with scientific speculation, After Geoenginneering inspires much-needed thought experiments about the changes coming to our warmer and weirder world.”
“With After Geoengineering, Holly Buck offers a sobering, prescient vision of a climate realism that we should heed. She decisively alters how the Left might understand the challenges of Planetarity and what anthropogenic intervention may require, both technologically and ethically. There are no easy solutions on offer, only difficult paths to cross while they are still open.”
“Geoengineering is the 'third rail' of left green politics that no one dares to touch. Holly Buck transcends stale debates and allows us to imagine a hopeful world beyond both capitalism and climate catastrophe. Providing a rigorous (and joyful!) look at technological options to buy time, adapt to change, and renew the planet, this radical book is long overdue.”
“Climate is now an unmitigated disaster. Talk is already turning from reducing carbon outputs to more drastic solutions. Progressive activists are going to need to get up to speed on the emerging geoengineering industrial complex. Holly Jean Buck walks us briskly through what we need to know to engage with this deepening planetary crisis.”
“The topic of geoengineering usually merits a quick dismissal among environmentalists, but Holly Buck’s After Geoengineering shows it is extremely complex with multiple available options. As emissions continue to rise and warming continues, this topic needs serious attention on the left since revolutionizing our energy system is likely not enough given what we’ve already emitted. Buck’s brilliant – and hopeful – overview is not merely technical or economic, but addresses head-on the implications for climate justice. Beautifully written, including creative ‘sketches’ imagining future scenarios, this book is required reading for how to navigate the crisis ahead.”
“A really fantastic book; as if Ursula K. LeGuin wrote a definitive study of carbon management options for the 21st century. A meticulously researched, beautifully drawn portrait of dozens of possible futures and how to make them reality. A must-read for anyone who cares about making a cooler and more just future for generations to come.”