From improvement towards enhancement

A regenesis of environmental law at the dawn of the anthropocene

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Abstract

This paper discusses a host of what mostly are still isolated ad hoc technology-driven initiatives, usually in support of human (rights) imperatives, which effectively endeavour to engineer and re-engineer living and non-living environments in ways that have no natural, legal or historical precedent. The umbrella term I propose to capture such initiatives is ‘environmental enhancement'. Potential examples that fit this definition include genetic modification of disease-transmitting mosquitoes to protect human health, solar radiation management initiatives and other forms of climate engineering to sustain human life on earth, the creation of new life forms to secure food supplies and absorb population growth, and de-extinction efforts that help restore the integrity of ecosystems.

The question this paper addresses, in the words of Brownsword, is whether conventional environmental law ‘connects’ with environmental enhancement, and whether states may be duty-bound to enhance environments in pursuit of human rights imperatives.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford handbook on the law and regulation of technology
EditorsRoger Brownsword, Karen Young, Eloise Scotford
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages20
Edition2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Fingerprint

environmental law
engineer
human rights
food supply
population growth
integrity
climate
engineering
Disease
health
management

Keywords

  • Anthropocene, Environmnental Law, Human Rights, Technologies, Enhancement, Environmental Ethics, Environmental Theory, Regulation

Cite this

Somsen, H. (2016). From improvement towards enhancement: A regenesis of environmental law at the dawn of the anthropocene. In R. Brownsword, K. Young, & E. Scotford (Eds.), Oxford handbook on the law and regulation of technology (2016 ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Somsen, Han. / From improvement towards enhancement : A regenesis of environmental law at the dawn of the anthropocene. Oxford handbook on the law and regulation of technology. editor / Roger Brownsword ; Karen Young ; Eloise Scotford. 2016. ed. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2016.
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Somsen, H 2016, From improvement towards enhancement: A regenesis of environmental law at the dawn of the anthropocene. in R Brownsword, K Young & E Scotford (eds), Oxford handbook on the law and regulation of technology. 2016 edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

From improvement towards enhancement : A regenesis of environmental law at the dawn of the anthropocene. / Somsen, Han.

Oxford handbook on the law and regulation of technology. ed. / Roger Brownsword; Karen Young; Eloise Scotford. 2016. ed. Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2016.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

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Somsen H. From improvement towards enhancement: A regenesis of environmental law at the dawn of the anthropocene. In Brownsword R, Young K, Scotford E, editors, Oxford handbook on the law and regulation of technology. 2016 ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2016