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Reason in a Dark TimeWhy the Struggle Against Climate Change Failed -- and What It Means for Our Future$
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Dale Jamieson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199337668

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199337668.001.0001

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The Frontiers of Ethics

The Frontiers of Ethics

(p.144) 5 The Frontiers of Ethics
Reason in a Dark Time

Dale Jamieson

Oxford University Press

Climate ethicists say that climate change is a problem of rich people appropriating more than their share of a global public good and as a result harming poor people by causally contributing to extreme climatic events that result in deaths and damages through disaster, disease outbreaks, economic dislocations, and political instability. Yet even people who care deeply about climate change do not feel like killers when they fly or drive. This is because there are important differences between clear cases of morally suspect acts and those that contribute to climate change. Climate ethicists are trying to revise moral concepts rather than simply reporting them. But how one argues for revising concepts is quite different from how one argues that particular acts fall under existing concepts. Moreover, the two main revised conceptions of responsibility that have been suggested have counterintuitive consequences and are in tension with classical liberal ideas.

Keywords:   Climate, ethics, responsibility, moral concepts, death, harm

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