Title: Imag[in]ing geoengineering - the plausible and the implausible

Authors: Paula Curvelo

Addresses: European Commission – Joint Research Centre, Via Enrico Fermi, 2749, Ispra (VA), Italy

Abstract: The universe of geoengineering is filled with all sorts of imageries. They are all part of the geoengineering story, revealing facts, knowledge, values, fears, desires, promises, anxieties, incredulity, about not only the idea of deliberately manipulating Earth's climate to offset anthropogenic climate change, but also, and above all, what we know about the world and how we make sense of our place in it. In this context, where geoengineering can be seen as an illustrative metaphor of particular technological promises and 'upstream solutions' of modern technoscientific societies, we stress the relevance of considering the continuum between imaging and imagining (imag[in]ing) in order to examine the plausibility of current geoengineering proposals. By suggesting that the visual representations of geoengineering should be seen as pictorial narratives, we draw on Walter Fisher's homo narrans metaphor. Thus, adopting the concept of 'narrative rationality', we propose to analyse the sense-making structures of a set of selected visual narratives of geoengineering and test them against the principles of narrative probability and narrative fidelity.

Keywords: geoengineering; climate engineering; plausibility; plausible reasoning; narrative rationality; imaging; imagining; foresight; pictorial narratives; homo narrans; sense-making structures; visual narratives; narrative probability; narrative fidelity.

DOI: 10.1504/IJFIP.2013.058613

International Journal of Foresight and Innovation Policy, 2013 Vol.9 No.2/3/4, pp.162 - 187

Received: 14 Dec 2012
Accepted: 25 Sep 2013

Published online: 10 Jan 2014 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article