Climate change is an ethical failure. Floods, fires, droughts, and extreme weather caused by climate change are already killing people and ruining lives on a massive scale. These avoidable impacts hurt the most vulnerable among us first, and worst. Why have we failed to prevent climate change? How can we mobilise to do better politically, socially, and economically? Where does the greatest responsibility for action lie?
In this book, Catriona McKinnon unravels the vital contributions made by engaged political theory to urgent climate challenges left unmet by a lack of political will. These challenges, and our political inertia, cannot be tackled without addressing questions of responsibility, collective duty, fairness, harm, techno-optimism, the value of nature, and the future of humanity. McKinnon's philosophical analysis is interwoven with discussion of the latest climate science, current politics and policies, and emerging technologies, in order to show that we will not find acceptable routes out of the climate crisis without the compass of political theory.
Climate Change and Political Theory provides readers of all backgrounds and levels with a lucid distillation of, and a curated guide to, the political theory and ethics of climate change.
Chapter 1. Introduction: An Unprecedented Challenge
Chapter 2. Why haven’t we achieved climate justice?
Chapter 3. Who are the victims of climate injustice?
Chapter 4. Risk, uncertainty, and ignorance: challenges for climate policymaking?
Chapter 5. Who is responsible for climate injustice?
Chapter 6. What are our options in the face of climate failure?
Chapter 7. Geoengineering: Saviour technologies or fantasies of control?
Chapter 8. Conclusion
Catriona McKinnon is Professor of Political Theory at the University of Exeter.
"Lucid, lively, and comprehensive analyses apply the smartest political theory to the toughest climate challenges, with an especially penetrating critique of negative emissions technologies. McKinnon brings reasoned grounds for hope to the stark reality of current failure on climate change."
– Henry Shue, Merton College, Oxford, author of The Pivotal Generation
"A rich and compelling introduction to this vital topic from a leader in the field. McKinnon's insight, expertise, and humanity shine through. For students, teachers, and all those interested in our future on this planet."
– Stephen Gardiner, University of Washington