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The debate about the existence of climate change seems finally at an end. We now have to decide what to do about it. Here, James Garvey argues that the ultimate rationale for action on climate change cannot be simply economic, political, scientific or social, though no doubt our decisions should be informed by such things. Instead, climate change is largely a moral problem. What we should do about it depends on what matters to us and what we think is right.The Ethics of Climate Change is an introduction to the ethics of climate change. It considers a little climate science and a lot of moral philosophy, ultimately finding a way into the many possible positions associated with climate change. It is also a call for action, for doing something about the moral demands placed on both governments and individuals by the fact of climate change.
This is a book about choices, responsibility, and where the moral weight falls on our warming world. Articulate, provocative and stimulating, this timely book will make a significant contribution to one of the most important debates of our time.
I. Under the Weather
1. A brief history of the climate
2. Greenhouse gasses and climate change
3. Climate modeling
II. The Weight of the World
5. Morality, context, and the scope of the problem
6. Responsibility for the past
7. Responsibility for the present
8. Responsibility for the future
III. Global Responses
9. Refusing to act
11. The Kyoto Protocol
12. Kinds of allocation
IV. Individual Responses
13. Individual responsibilities and climate change
14. Group action
Appendix: Carbon calculation
Appendix: Suggestions for reducing individual carbon emissions
James Garvey is Secretary of the Royal Institute of Philosophy and author of The Twenty Greatest Philosophy Books (Continuum, 2006).
"[With this book] you don't get the feeling of being hectored by a preachy green, but rather of being addressesd like the intelligent adult that you are [...] Witty without being frivolous, explanatory but never condescending, engaging and challenging in equal measure, this book should become a campus classic."
– Jonathan Webber, The Philosophers' Magazine