Debating Climate Ethics

Oxford University Press
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In this volume, Stephen M. Gardiner and David A. Weisbach present arguments for and against the relevance of ethics to global climate policy. Gardiner argues that climate change is fundamentally an ethical issue, since it is an early instance of a distinctive challenge to ethical action (the perfect moral storm), and ethical concerns (such as with justice, rights, political legitimacy, community and humanity's relationship to nature) are at the heart of many of the decisions that need to be made. Consequently, climate policy that ignores ethics is at risk of "solving" the wrong problem, perhaps even to the extreme of endorsing forms of climate extortion. This is especially true of policy based on narrow forms of economic self-interest. By contrast, Weisbach argues that existing ethical theories are not well suited to addressing climate change. As applied to climate change, existing ethical theories suffer from internal logical problems and suggest infeasible strategies. Rather than following failed theories or waiting indefinitely for new and better ones, Weisbach argues that central motivation for climate policy is straightforward: it is in their common interest for people and nations to agree to policies that dramatically reduce emissions to prevent terrible harms.
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About the author

Stephen M. Gardiner is Professor of Philosophy and Ben Rabinowitz Endowed Professor of the Human Dimensions of the Environment at the University of Washington, Seattle. He is the author of A Perfect Moral Storm (Oxford, 2011), editor of Virtue Ethics, Old and New (Cornell, 2005), and co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Environmental Ethics (Oxford, in press) and Climate Ethics: Essential Readings (Oxford, 2010). His research focuses on global environmental problems, future generations and virtue ethics. David A. Weisbach is the Walter J Blum Professor at the University of Chicago Law School and Senior Fellow at the University of Chicago Computation Institute and Argonne National Laboratories. Weisbach's research primarily focuses on issues related to taxation and on policy aspects of climate change. Weisbach received his BS in Mathematics from the University of Michigan in 1985; a Masters in Advance Study (Mathematics) from Wolfson College, Cambridge in 1986; and a JD from Harvard Law School in 1989. After graduating from law school, Weisbach clerked for Judge Joel M. Flaum of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and worked as an associate in the law firm of Miller & Chevalier. In 1992, Weisbach joined the Department of Treasury where he worked as an attorney-advisor in the Office of the Tax Legislative Counsel and, subsequently, as associate tax legislative counsel. In 1996, Weisbach was appointed Associate Professor of Law at Georgetown Law Center and joined the Chicago faculty in 1998.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
Jun 1, 2016
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9780190614768
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / Environmental
Philosophy / Ethics & Moral Philosophy
Philosophy / Social
Political Science / Public Policy / Science & Technology Policy
Science / Environmental Science
Science / Philosophy & Social Aspects
Social Science / Human Geography
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Stephen M. Gardiner
Climate change is arguably the great problem confronting humanity, but we have done little to head off this looming catastrophe. In The Perfect Moral Storm, philosopher Stephen Gardiner illuminates our dangerous inaction by placing the environmental crisis in an entirely new light, considering it as an ethical failure. Gardiner clarifies the moral situation, identifying the temptations (or "storms") that make us vulnerable to a certain kind of corruption. First, the world's most affluent nations are tempted to pass on the cost of climate change to the poorer and weaker citizens of the world. Second, the present generation is tempted to pass the problem on to future generations. Third, our poor grasp of science, international justice, and the human relationship to nature helps to facilitate inaction. As a result, we are engaging in willful self-deception when the lives of future generations, the world's poor, and even the basic fabric of life on the planet is at stake. We should wake up to this profound ethical failure, Gardiner concludes, and demand more of our institutions, our leaders and ourselves. "This is a radical book, both in the sense that it faces extremes and in the sense that it goes to the roots." --Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews "The book's strength lies in Gardiner's success at understanding and clarifying the types of moral issues that climate change raises, which is an important first step toward solutions." --Science Magazine "Gardiner has expertly explored some very instinctual and vitally important considerations which cannot realistically be ignored. --Required reading." --Green Prophet "Gardiner makes a strong case for highlighting and insisting on the ethical dimensions of the climate problem, and his warnings about buck-passing and the dangerous appeal of moral corruptions hit home." --Times Higher Education "Stephen Gardiner takes to a new level our understanding of the moral dimensions of climate change. A Perfect Moral Storm argues convincingly that climate change is the greatest moral challenge our species has ever faced - and that the problem goes even deeper than we think." --Peter Singer, Princeton University
Stephen M. Gardiner
Climate change is arguably the great problem confronting humanity, but we have done little to head off this looming catastrophe. In The Perfect Moral Storm, philosopher Stephen Gardiner illuminates our dangerous inaction by placing the environmental crisis in an entirely new light, considering it as an ethical failure. Gardiner clarifies the moral situation, identifying the temptations (or "storms") that make us vulnerable to a certain kind of corruption. First, the world's most affluent nations are tempted to pass on the cost of climate change to the poorer and weaker citizens of the world. Second, the present generation is tempted to pass the problem on to future generations. Third, our poor grasp of science, international justice, and the human relationship to nature helps to facilitate inaction. As a result, we are engaging in willful self-deception when the lives of future generations, the world's poor, and even the basic fabric of life on the planet is at stake. We should wake up to this profound ethical failure, Gardiner concludes, and demand more of our institutions, our leaders and ourselves. "This is a radical book, both in the sense that it faces extremes and in the sense that it goes to the roots." --Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews "The book's strength lies in Gardiner's success at understanding and clarifying the types of moral issues that climate change raises, which is an important first step toward solutions." --Science Magazine "Gardiner has expertly explored some very instinctual and vitally important considerations which cannot realistically be ignored. --Required reading." --Green Prophet "Gardiner makes a strong case for highlighting and insisting on the ethical dimensions of the climate problem, and his warnings about buck-passing and the dangerous appeal of moral corruptions hit home." --Times Higher Education "Stephen Gardiner takes to a new level our understanding of the moral dimensions of climate change. A Perfect Moral Storm argues convincingly that climate change is the greatest moral challenge our species has ever faced - and that the problem goes even deeper than we think." --Peter Singer, Princeton University
Stephen M. Gardiner
We live during a crucial period of human history on Earth. Anthropogenic environmental changes are occurring on global scales at unprecedented rates. Despite a long history of environmental intervention, never before has the collective impact of human behaviors threatened all of the major bio-systems on the planet. Decisions we make today will have significant consequences for the basic conditions of all life into the indefinite future. What should we do? How should we behave? In what ways ought we organize and respond? The future of the world as we know it depends on our actions today. A cutting-edge introduction to environmental ethics in a time of dramatic global environmental change, this collection contains forty-five newly commissioned articles, with contributions from well-established experts and emerging voices in the field. Chapters are arranged in topical sections: social contexts (history, science, economics, law, and the Anthropocene), who or what is of value (humanity, conscious animals, living individuals, and wild nature), the nature of value (truth and goodness, practical reasons, hermeneutics, phenomenology, and aesthetics), how things ought to matter (consequences, duty and obligation, character traits, caring for others, and the sacred), essential concepts (responsibility, justice, gender, rights, ecological space, risk and precaution, citizenship, future generations, and sustainability), key issues (pollution, population, energy, food, water, mass extinction, technology, and ecosystem management), climate change (mitigation, adaptation, diplomacy, and geoengineering), and social change (conflict, pragmatism, sacrifice, and action). Each chapter explains the role played by central theories, ideas, issues, and concepts in contemporary environmental ethics, and their relevance for the challenges of the future.
Stephen M. Gardiner
We live during a crucial period of human history on Earth. Anthropogenic environmental changes are occurring on global scales at unprecedented rates. Despite a long history of environmental intervention, never before has the collective impact of human behaviors threatened all of the major bio-systems on the planet. Decisions we make today will have significant consequences for the basic conditions of all life into the indefinite future. What should we do? How should we behave? In what ways ought we organize and respond? The future of the world as we know it depends on our actions today. A cutting-edge introduction to environmental ethics in a time of dramatic global environmental change, this collection contains forty-five newly commissioned articles, with contributions from well-established experts and emerging voices in the field. Chapters are arranged in topical sections: social contexts (history, science, economics, law, and the Anthropocene), who or what is of value (humanity, conscious animals, living individuals, and wild nature), the nature of value (truth and goodness, practical reasons, hermeneutics, phenomenology, and aesthetics), how things ought to matter (consequences, duty and obligation, character traits, caring for others, and the sacred), essential concepts (responsibility, justice, gender, rights, ecological space, risk and precaution, citizenship, future generations, and sustainability), key issues (pollution, population, energy, food, water, mass extinction, technology, and ecosystem management), climate change (mitigation, adaptation, diplomacy, and geoengineering), and social change (conflict, pragmatism, sacrifice, and action). Each chapter explains the role played by central theories, ideas, issues, and concepts in contemporary environmental ethics, and their relevance for the challenges of the future.
Stephen M. Gardiner
Climate change is arguably the great problem confronting humanity, but we have done little to head off this looming catastrophe. In The Perfect Moral Storm, philosopher Stephen Gardiner illuminates our dangerous inaction by placing the environmental crisis in an entirely new light, considering it as an ethical failure. Gardiner clarifies the moral situation, identifying the temptations (or "storms") that make us vulnerable to a certain kind of corruption. First, the world's most affluent nations are tempted to pass on the cost of climate change to the poorer and weaker citizens of the world. Second, the present generation is tempted to pass the problem on to future generations. Third, our poor grasp of science, international justice, and the human relationship to nature helps to facilitate inaction. As a result, we are engaging in willful self-deception when the lives of future generations, the world's poor, and even the basic fabric of life on the planet is at stake. We should wake up to this profound ethical failure, Gardiner concludes, and demand more of our institutions, our leaders and ourselves. "This is a radical book, both in the sense that it faces extremes and in the sense that it goes to the roots." --Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews "The book's strength lies in Gardiner's success at understanding and clarifying the types of moral issues that climate change raises, which is an important first step toward solutions." --Science Magazine "Gardiner has expertly explored some very instinctual and vitally important considerations which cannot realistically be ignored. --Required reading." --Green Prophet "Gardiner makes a strong case for highlighting and insisting on the ethical dimensions of the climate problem, and his warnings about buck-passing and the dangerous appeal of moral corruptions hit home." --Times Higher Education "Stephen Gardiner takes to a new level our understanding of the moral dimensions of climate change. A Perfect Moral Storm argues convincingly that climate change is the greatest moral challenge our species has ever faced - and that the problem goes even deeper than we think." --Peter Singer, Princeton University
Stephen M. Gardiner
Climate change is arguably the great problem confronting humanity, but we have done little to head off this looming catastrophe. In The Perfect Moral Storm, philosopher Stephen Gardiner illuminates our dangerous inaction by placing the environmental crisis in an entirely new light, considering it as an ethical failure. Gardiner clarifies the moral situation, identifying the temptations (or "storms") that make us vulnerable to a certain kind of corruption. First, the world's most affluent nations are tempted to pass on the cost of climate change to the poorer and weaker citizens of the world. Second, the present generation is tempted to pass the problem on to future generations. Third, our poor grasp of science, international justice, and the human relationship to nature helps to facilitate inaction. As a result, we are engaging in willful self-deception when the lives of future generations, the world's poor, and even the basic fabric of life on the planet is at stake. We should wake up to this profound ethical failure, Gardiner concludes, and demand more of our institutions, our leaders and ourselves. "This is a radical book, both in the sense that it faces extremes and in the sense that it goes to the roots." --Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews "The book's strength lies in Gardiner's success at understanding and clarifying the types of moral issues that climate change raises, which is an important first step toward solutions." --Science Magazine "Gardiner has expertly explored some very instinctual and vitally important considerations which cannot realistically be ignored. --Required reading." --Green Prophet "Gardiner makes a strong case for highlighting and insisting on the ethical dimensions of the climate problem, and his warnings about buck-passing and the dangerous appeal of moral corruptions hit home." --Times Higher Education "Stephen Gardiner takes to a new level our understanding of the moral dimensions of climate change. A Perfect Moral Storm argues convincingly that climate change is the greatest moral challenge our species has ever faced - and that the problem goes even deeper than we think." --Peter Singer, Princeton University
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