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Three Questions on Climate Change

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 September 2014

Extract

Climate change will have highly significant and largely negative effects on human societies into the foreseeable future, effects that are already generating ethical and policy dilemmas of unprecedented scope, scale, and complexity. One important group of ethical and policy issues raised here concerns what I call environmental values. By this I do not mean the impact that climate change will have on the environment as a valuable human resource, nor am I referring to the changing climate as a threat to humans in terms of floods, storms, and droughts, important as these are. Rather, I am concerned with the way climate change—and the policies that may be adopted to respond to it—threatens both things we value and, potentially, some of our environmental values themselves.

Type
Roundtable: The Facts, Fictions, and Future of Climate Change
Copyright
Copyright © Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs 2014 

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References

1 United States Wilderness Act, Pub. L. No. 88–577, 16 U.S.C. 1131–36, 88th Cong., 2nd Session, September 3, 1964, www.wilderness.net/nwps/legisact.

2 McShane, Katie, “Some Challenges for Narrative Accounts of Value,” Ethics & the Environment 17, no. 1 (2012), pp. 4569.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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4 Macias-Fauria, Marc et al. , “Eurasian Arctic Greening Reveals Teleconnections and the Potential for Structurally Novel Ecosystems,” Nature Climate Change 2, no. 1 (2012), pp. 613–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

5 McKibben, Bill, The End of Nature (New York: Random House, 1989).Google Scholar

6 Thomas, Chris D. et al. , “Extinction Risk from Climate Change,” Nature 427 (2004), pp. 145–48.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed

7 McLane, S. C. and Aitken, S. N., “Whitebark Pine (Pinus albicaulis) Assisted Migration Potential: Testing Establishment North of the Species Range,” Ecological Applications 22, no. 1 (2012), pp. 142–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

8 O'Neill, John, Holland, Alan, and Light, Andrew, Environmental Values (London: Routledge, 2008).Google Scholar

9 See Clare Palmer and Brendon Larson, “Should We Move the Whitebark Pine? Assisted Migration, Ethics and Global Environmental Change,” Environmental Values (forthcoming). On early view at: www.erica.demon.co.uk/EV/papers/Palmer.pdf.

10 Sandler, Ronald, “Climate Change and Ecosystem Management,” Ethics, Policy and Environment 16 no. 1 (2013), pp. 115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

11 Kareiva, Peter and Marvier, Michelle, “What is Conservation Science?BioScience 62, no. 11 (2012), pp. 962–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and Marris, Emma, Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World (New York: Bloomsbury, 2011).Google Scholar

12 Swim, Janet K., Markowitz, Ezra M., and Bloodhart, Brittany, “Psychology and Climate Change: Beliefs, Impacts, and Human Contributions,” in Clayton, Susan, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Environmental and Conservation Psychology (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012), pp. 645–72.Google Scholar

13 Leiserowitz, Anthony et al. , Climate change in the American mind: Americans' global warming beliefs and attitudes in April 2013, Yale University and George Mason University (New Haven, Conn.: Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, 2013).Google Scholar

14 Leiserowitz, A. and Smith, N., Knowledge of Climate Change across Global Warming's Six Americas (New Haven, Conn.: Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, 2010).Google Scholar

15 Leiserowitz et al., Climate change in the American mind.

16 Deitz, Thomas et al. , “Household Actions Can Provide a Behavioral Wedge to Rapidly Reduce US Carbon Emissions,” PNAS 106, no. 44 (2009), pp. 18452–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

17 See Jamieson, Dale, “Climate Change, Responsibility and Justice,” Science and Engineering Ethics 16, no. 3 (2010), pp. 431–45CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed; and Gardiner, Stephen, A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

18 Leiserowitz and Smith, Knowledge of Climate Change across Global Warming's Six Americas.

19 Leiserowitz et al., Climate change in the American mind.

20 Markowitz, Ezra M. and Shariff, Azim F., “Climate Change and Moral Judgement,” Nature Climate Change 2, no. 4 (2012), pp. 243–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

21 Haidt, Jonathan and Graham, Jesse, “When Morality Opposes Justice: Conservatives Have Moral Intuitions that Liberals may not Recognize,” Social Justice Research 20, no. 1 (2007), pp. 98116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

22 Markowitz and Shariff, “Climate Change and Moral Judgement,” pp. 243–47.

23 Lori Rotenberk, “When It Comes to Climate Change, This Artist Lets the Trees Do the Talking” Grist, December 3, 2013, grist.org/people/when-it-comes-to-climate-change-this-artist-lets-the-trees-do-the-talking/.

24 Jonathan Rowson, A New Agenda on Climate Change, RSA Action and Research Centre, December 2013. Download the report at: www.thersa.org/action-research-centre/learning,-cognition-and-creativity/social-brain/reports/a-new-agenda-on-climate-change.

25 T. J. Kasperbauer makes this argument in “The Implications of Psychological Limitations for the Ethics of Climate Change” (unpublished paper, 2014).

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