This collection gathers a set of seminal papers from the emerging area of ethics and climate change. Topics covered include human rights, international justice, intergenerational ethics, individual responsibility, climate economics, and the ethics of geoengineering. Climate Ethics is intended to serve as a source book for general reference, and for university courses that include a focus on the human dimensions of climate change. It should be of broad interest to all those concerned with global justice, environmental science and policy, and the future of humanity.
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.
Natural disasters and cholera outbreaks. Ebola, SARS, and concerns over pandemic flu. HIV and AIDS. E. coli outbreaks from contaminated produce and fast foods. Threats of bioterrorism. Contamination of compounded drugs. Vaccination refusals and outbreaks of preventable diseases. These are just some of the headlines from the last 30-plus years highlighting the essential roles and responsibilities of public health, all of which come with ethical issues and the responsibilities they create. Public health has achieved extraordinary successes. And yet these successes also bring with them ethical tension. Not all public health successes are equally distributed in the population; extraordinary health disparities between rich and poor still exist. The most successful public health programs sometimes rely on policies that, while improving public health conditions, also limit individual rights. Public health practitioners and policymakers face these and other questions of ethics routinely in their work, and they must navigate their sometimes competing responsibilities to the health of the public with other important societal values such as privacy, autonomy, and prevailing cultural norms. This Oxford Handbook provides a sweeping and comprehensive review of the current state of public health ethics, addressing these and numerous other questions. Taking account of the wide range of topics under the umbrella of public health and the ethical issues raised by them, this volume is organized into fifteen sections. It begins with two sections that discuss the conceptual foundations, ethical tensions, and ethical frameworks of and for public health and how public health does its work. The thirteen sections that follow examine the application of public health ethics considerations and approaches across a broad range of public health topics. While chapters are organized into topical sections, each chapter is designed to serve as a standalone contribution. The book includes 73 chapters covering many topics from varying perspectives, a recognition of the diversity of the issues that define public health ethics in the U.S. and globally. This Handbook is an authoritative and indispensable guide to the state of public health ethics today.
Climate change is perhaps the most important issue of our time and yet the international measures necessary to mitigate it have not been implemented. Given the urgency of the problem, why has so little been done? Climate Ethics identifies the reasons behind this crucial paradox and outlines a way forward. In the first part of the book the authors provide an accessible account of the basics of climate change, demystifying the complicated terminology that so often hinders a proper understanding of the subject. In the second part, they explore the complex ethical and moral questions that need to be addressed if long-term solutions to climate change are to be realised. What moral responsibility do we have to future generations? How should we share out emission rights? Do we take into account past emissions? What is the fairest approach to the politics of climate change on a global scale? An original and timely engagement with one of the most pressing problems facing us and future generations.
Climate change is perhaps the most important issue of our time and yet despite the urgency of the problem, the measures necessary to mitigate it have not been implemented. International cooperation has not been forthcoming and there remains a general reluctance towards any major change of lifestyle. Given the urgency of the problem, why has so little been done? In Climate Ethics Joerg Tremmel and Katherine Robinson identify the reasons behind this crucial paradox and propose a way forward. In the first part of the book the authors provide an accessible account of the basics of climate change. In clear and accessible terms they explain the science behind climate change and demystify the complicated terminology that so often hinders a proper understanding of the subject. They identify the substances that cause climate change, reveal which industries are responsible and which aspects of people's everyday lives have the highest emissions connected with them. They explore the consequences of ignoring climate change and, importantly, analyse the obstacles to addressing the issues. In the second part of the book the authors introduce the concept of climate ethics, and explore its importance at a personal, national and international level. They place it firmly at the centre of any successful resolution of the challenges associated with climate change. They review the classical theories of justice and how they relate to climate change, and they examine the complex ethical and moral questions that need to be addressed if long-term solutions are to be found. What moral responsibility do we have to future generations? How should we share out emission rights? Do we take into account past emissions, allowing those who have historically caused more pollution fewer emissions rights than developing countries? Who is to finance the measures to abate climate? And just what is the fairest approach to the politics of climate change on a global scale? The result is an original and timely engagement with one of the most pressing problems facing us and future generations.
Climate change is a global problem that is predominantly an intergenerational conflict, and which takes place in a setting where our ethical impulses are weak. This "perfect moral storm" poses a profound challenge to humanity. This book explains how the "perfect storm" metaphor makes sense of our current malaise, and why a better ethics can help see our way out.
This handbook is currently in development, with individual articles publishing online in advance of print publication. At this time, we cannot add information about unpublished articles in this handbook, however the table of contents will continue to grow as additional articles pass through the review process and are added to the site. Please note that the online publication date for this handbook is the date that the first article in the title was published online.
Climate change is now the biggest challenge faced by humanity worldwide and ethics is the crucial missing component in the debate about what to do about this enormous threat. This book examines why thirty-five years of discussion of human-induced warming has failed to acknowledge fundamental ethical concerns, and subjects climate change’s most important policy questions to ethical analysis. This book examines why ethical principles have failed to gain traction in policy formation and recommends specific strategies to ensure that climate change policies are consistent with ethical principles. Because climate change is a global problem that requires a global solution and given that many nations refuse participation due to perceived inequities in proposed international solutions, this book explains why ensuring that nations, sub-national governments, organizations, businesses and individuals acknowledge and respond to their ethical obligations is both an ethical and practical mandate. This book is the first of its kind to go beyond a mere account of relevant ethical questions to offer a pragmatic guide on how to make ethical principles influential in formulating the world’s response to climate change. Written by Donald A. Brown, a leading voice in the field, it should be of interest to policy makers, and those studying environmental policy, climate change policy, international relations, environmental ethics and philosophy.
This book examines from different perspectives the moral significance of non-human members of the biotic community and their omission from climate ethics literature. The complexity of life in an age of rapid climate change demands the development of moral frameworks that recognize and respect the dignity and agency of both human and non-human organisms. Despite decades of careful work in non-anthropocentric approaches to environmental ethics, recent anthologies on climate ethics have largely omitted non-anthropocentric approaches. This multidisciplinary volume of international scholars tackles this lacuna by presenting novel work on non-anthropocentric approaches to climate ethics. Written in an accessible style, the text incorporates sentiocentric, biocentric, and ecocentric perspectives on climate change. With diverse perspectives from both leading and emerging scholars of environmental ethics, geography, religious studies, conservation ecology, and environmental studies, this book will offer a valuable reading for students and scholars of these fields.