THE ETHICS OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND SHARED ECOLOGICAL RESPONSIBILITY: A PHILOSOPHICAL APPROACH
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Keywords

Climate, Ecology, Responsibility, Rights, Eco-Morality.

Abstract

The paper dwells on the moral dimension of climate change and the attendant ethics of shared ecological responsibility. It focuses on the problem of global warming resulting from climate change and affirms that humans are primarily causing that warming through the burning of fossil fuels, emission of "greenhouse gases" and deforestation, and that this warming threatens the well-being of billions of earth inhabitants today and in the future. The paper argues that, though, scientific facts are a necessary part of reflection on climate change, they are nothing near the whole of it. It maintains that science can tell us what is going on, but fundamentally, it needs the complimentary role of ethics to guide us on what we ought to do. In other words, the paper suggests that what we should do depends largely on our value system and how we responds to those values as a group. It recommends the concept of shared ecological responsibility as a way out the devastating effects of climate change. The notion of shared ecological responsibility characterized here is actiontheoretic and ethically parametrized. This means that it does not include any commitments to a substantive conception of the ecological rights of future people but can be combined and further specified relative to different contractualist or cosmopolitan conceptions of wide-scope or extended eco-morality and justice.

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