Nanotechnology for a Sustainable World
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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.
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Chapter 8: Nanotechnology, Climate Change and Renewable Energy

Thomas Faunce


Ye who listen with credulity to the whispers of fancy, and pursue with eagerness the phantoms of hope; who expect that age will perform the promises of youth and that the deficiencies of the present day will be supplied by the morrow; attend … – Samuel Johnson, Rasselas 8.1 NES GEO-ENGINEERING PROJECT? I explored the dusty ruins of Nalanda Buddhist University in northern India in the late 1980s. Looking at the toppled and overgrown buildings, it was hard then to imagine that at one time in human history this place briefly had been very special in uniting the best of human wisdom and knowledge with a deep respect for nature. The medieval Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang lovingly described what were then its regularly laid-out towers, forest of pavilions, harmikas and temples seeming to soar above the mists in the sky (so that from their cells the monks might witness the birth of the winds and clouds). He wrote of its azure pool winding around the monasteries and lecture halls, adorned with the full-blown cups of the blue lotus; the dazzling red flowers of the kanaka hanging, while groves of mango trees offered the strictly disciplined and virtuous scholars their dense and protective shade. The community of Nalanda seems an ideal one – learned human beings attempting to mould their knowledge and conduct according to natural patterns of symmetry and harmony they detected deep in meditation. Yet by another pattern Buddhism was strongly opposed in India by members of the yogic tradition led by...

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