Nanotechnology for a Sustainable World

Nanotechnology for a Sustainable World

Global Artificial Photosynthesis as Nanotechnology’s Moral Culmination

Thomas Faunce

Does humanity have a moral obligation to emphasise nanotechnology’s role in addressing the critical public health and environmental problems of our age? This well crafted book explores this idea by analysing the prospects for a macroscience nanotechnology-for-environmental sustainability project in areas such as food, water and energy supply, medicine, healthcare, peace and security. Developing and applying an innovative science-based view of natural law underpinning a global social contract, it considers some of the key scientific and governance challenges such a global project may face.

Chapter 4: Core Normative Components of a Global NES Project

Thomas Faunce

Subjects: innovation and technology, technology and ict, law - academic, health law


All the diversities of the world were brought together, the blessings of nature were collected, and its evils extracted and excluded … nothing is more common … than to call our own condition the condition of life. – Samuel Johnson, Rasselas [I]n principle it is so easy to simulate a universe in a computer that there must be very many simulations scattered across the Multiverse. – John Gribbin, In Search of the Multiverse 4.1 NES FIRMLY SUPPORTED BY ETHICS AND LAW Imagine, as a thought-experiment, a repeat of the experiment of the fully enclosed ecosystem Biosphere 2. This time nanotechnology would provide the framework for the artificial Eden and the urgency for its success would be given by the collapse of Earth’s ecology under human population growth with related energy and resource pressures. Nano-Biosphere 3, as it might be known, would be a prototype for a nanotechnology-based world fundamentally committed to environmental sustainability. It might, for instance, involve communities attempting to live inside suburb-sized huge geodesic carbon-nanotube domes to see if they can use various forms of nanotechnology to create a flourishing life. Nanotechnology would be used in such a community for instance to assist the provision of education, food, water, medicines, security and energy. Imagine it as a type of testing ground for the best potential outcomes from a global NES project. Nano-Biosphere 3 mini-suburbs, like the original Biosphere 2, might each contain different ecosystems now at risk of permanent degradation or extinction: a rainforest, an ocean coral reef, mangrove wetlands, a...

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