Books  General Natural History  Philosophy, Ethics & Religion 

American Heat: Ethical Problems with the United States' Response to Global Warming

Series: Studies in Social, Political and Legal Philosophy Series

By: Donald A Brown

260 pages, Figs, tabs

Rowman & Littlefield

Paperback | May 2002 | #130385 | ISBN: 0742512967
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NHBS Price: £21.95 $29/€24 approx

About this book

An examination of the United States' responses to global warming negotiations through an ethical lens. The text's conclusions are often harshly critical of those responses over the last decade and a half of the 20th century. In fact, it concludes that many of the United States' positions in global climate change negotiations are ethically bankrupt no matter what ethical theory is used in the analysis. The volume claims that because there is so much at stake - because the poorest people around the world are likely to suffer most from human-induced climate change, and because the USA is the largest producer of greenhouse gases and has been least willing to reverse the global warming threat - the United States' response to global warming is problematic.

Donald Brown is uniquely placed to make and defend the arguments in American Heat, the first book of its kind to clearly and convincingly connect the questions surrounding climate change with their ethical consequences.--Westra, Laura


Part 1 Preliminary matters: the history of the United States in global change negotiations; environmental ethics and global warming policy; global warming, ethics, and foreign policy; what is at stake? Global warming's threat; uncertainty in climate change science. Part 2 Ethical analysis of United States' excuses for lack of action on global warming; the ethical duty to reduce emission in the face of scientific uncertainty about global warming consequences; the United States' obligation to act even if the developing world does not act; ethical issues entailed by the use of cost-benefit analysis based arguments made in opposition to United States greenhouse gas reduction programmes; ethical problems with the United States' insistence on its view of the Kyoto flexibility mechanisms. Part 3 Other global warming ethical issues: an equitable allocation of greenhouse gas emissions among nations; the ethical dimensions of a greenhouse gas atmospheric stabilization target; conclusion - some additional issues.

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Donald A. Brown is senior counsel on Sustainable Development for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources. He has over 25 years of experience in senior environmental legal and management positions in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and for the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

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