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Advanced Technology Paths to Intergenerational Justice

Karlsson, Rasmus LU (2010) In Managing Environmental Justice p.39-47
Abstract
Traditionally, the green narrative has rejected “big science” in favour of small-scale solutions, local knowledge, and the development of “soft” or “intermediate” technologies. In a similar vein, concern for future generations is often used to propose dramatic reductions in energy- and material flows, as well as the adoption of a more frugal lifestyle thought to be “sustainable”. Contrary to this paradigmatic viewpoint, I argue that not only would such green visions be inherently unsustainable but the transition phase would in itself require enormous sacrifices and most likely lead to the violation of basic human rights. Instead, by assessing our own historical situation through the ethical lens of hypothetical contractualism, it is... (More)
Traditionally, the green narrative has rejected “big science” in favour of small-scale solutions, local knowledge, and the development of “soft” or “intermediate” technologies. In a similar vein, concern for future generations is often used to propose dramatic reductions in energy- and material flows, as well as the adoption of a more frugal lifestyle thought to be “sustainable”. Contrary to this paradigmatic viewpoint, I argue that not only would such green visions be inherently unsustainable but the transition phase would in itself require enormous sacrifices and most likely lead to the violation of basic human rights. Instead, by assessing our own historical situation through the ethical lens of hypothetical contractualism, it is suggested that the interest of future generations is best served by rapid global political integration and an aggressive research agenda aimed at achieving climate stability through the innovation of new energy sources (such as nuclear fusion). It is further argued that we presently are living through a unique “window of opportunity” in which idealism and technological optimism are both urgently needed. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
intergenerational justice, contractualism, sustainable development, innovation, technology
in
Managing Environmental Justice
editor
Pavlich, Dennis
pages
39 - 47
publisher
Rodopi
ISBN
978-90-420-2937-8
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2b519a7a-261d-483e-b82d-71a2dbf550c4 (old id 1591771)
date added to LUP
2010-04-22 09:46:02
date last changed
2016-04-16 08:12:59
@misc{2b519a7a-261d-483e-b82d-71a2dbf550c4,
  abstract     = {Traditionally, the green narrative has rejected “big science” in favour of small-scale solutions, local knowledge, and the development of “soft” or “intermediate” technologies. In a similar vein, concern for future generations is often used to propose dramatic reductions in energy- and material flows, as well as the adoption of a more frugal lifestyle thought to be “sustainable”. Contrary to this paradigmatic viewpoint, I argue that not only would such green visions be inherently unsustainable but the transition phase would in itself require enormous sacrifices and most likely lead to the violation of basic human rights. Instead, by assessing our own historical situation through the ethical lens of hypothetical contractualism, it is suggested that the interest of future generations is best served by rapid global political integration and an aggressive research agenda aimed at achieving climate stability through the innovation of new energy sources (such as nuclear fusion). It is further argued that we presently are living through a unique “window of opportunity” in which idealism and technological optimism are both urgently needed.},
  author       = {Karlsson, Rasmus},
  editor       = {Pavlich, Dennis},
  isbn         = {978-90-420-2937-8},
  keyword      = {intergenerational justice,contractualism,sustainable development,innovation,technology},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {39--47},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0x90461c0)},
  series       = {Managing Environmental Justice},
  title        = {Advanced Technology Paths to Intergenerational Justice},
  year         = {2010},
}