Selected Term Paper No. 38 (März 2013)
Die Politik des Geoengineering

Nils Matzner


Politics of Geoengineering

Highly influenced by scientific research, the discussion about alternative measures to tackle climatic change – known as climate engineering or geoengineering – gets more serious. These ideas about a technical solution for global warming are the subject of this discourse analysis. This paper explores the political implications in the scientific geoengineering discourse. Using a variety of methods including a quantitative word-count-method and a qualitative knowledge-based discourse analysis, three different scientific journals have been studied. The analysis shows that a strong connection between politics and mitigation and a weaker between politics and geoengineering is made by natural scientists in their articles. In the narrative reconstruction of the discourse policy makers seem to be the tragic heroes of climate change mitigation and scientists researching geoengineering are the 'Knight in shining armor' presenting a way to escape the 'policy dilemma'. In conclusion, this bias of the scientific discourse and the need for more interdisciplinary work is discussed.