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Environmental Ethics

Volume 35, Issue 2, Summer 2013
Climate Change, Sustainability, and Environmental Ethics

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Displaying: 1-11 of 11 documents

1. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 2
News and Notes
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2. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 2
Johanna Seibt From The Guest Editor: Climate Change, Sustainability, and Environmental Ethics
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3. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 2
Annick Hedlund-de Witt Worldviews and Their Significance for the Global Sustainable Development Debate
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Insight into worldviews is essential for approaches aiming to design and support (more) sustainable pathways for society, both locally and globally. However, the nature of worldviews remains controversial, and it is still unclear how the concept can best be operationalized in the context of research and practice. One way may be by developing a framework for the understanding and operationalization worldviews by investigating various conceptualizations of the term in the history of philosophy. Worldviews can be understood as inescapable, overarching systems of meaning and meaning making that to a substantial extent inform how humans interpret, enact, and co-create reality. Moreover, worldviews are profoundly historically and developmentally situated. An Integrative Worldview Framework (IWF) can operationalize worldviews by differentiating five interrelated aspects: ontology, epistemology, axiology, anthropology, and societal vision. The evolution of the worldview concept is suggestive of an increasing reflexivity, creativity, responsibility, and inclusiveness—each of which are qualities that appear to be crucial for the global sustainable development debate.
4. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 2
Franziska Martinsen, Johanna Seibt Climate Change and the Concept of Shared Ecological Responsibility
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The recent debate about justice and responsibility increasingly tries to accommodate a new type of agentive situation in which local short-term actions have global long-term consequences due to the action’s embedding in complex interactional networks. Currently the debate is shifting focus from the spatial to the temporal dimension of such wide-scope results of individual actions. This shift from “global ethics” to “intergenerational ethics” and, in particular, “climate ethics” requires some new analytical concepts, however. A definition of wide-scope responsibility aimed at articulating our moral concerns about emergent effects in complex systems, such as climate change, is needed. Working from Iris Marion Young’s “social connection model of responsibility,” a notion of shared ecological responsibility with global and intergenerational scope can be developed. This account is not affected by the so-called non-identity objection to intergenerational ethics. From an action-theoretic rather than normative perspective, the account is “ethically parametrized” in the sense that it can be combined with different conceptions of structural and intergenerational justice. The account can be used to support a concrete climate policy proposal: the “Greenhouse Development Rights Framework.”
5. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 2
Derek Bell How Should We Think about Climate Justice?
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Climate change raises questions of justice. Some people are enjoying the benefits of energy use and other emissions-generating activities, but those activities are causing other people to suffer the burdens of climate change. Political philosophers have begun to pay more attention to the problem of “climate justice.” However, contributors to the literature have made quite different methodological assumptions about how we should develop a theory of climate justice and defend principles of climate justice. So far, there has been little systematic or detailed discussion of these methodological issues. One way to approach these issues is by developing a methodological framework for thinking about climate justice, or more specifically, a five-stage framework, drawing on recent work on two issues: first, the distinction between “ideal” and “non-ideal” theory; and second, the distinction between “integrationist” and “isolationist” approaches to environmental and climate justice. This methodological framework can also be used to inform critical analysis of extant theories of climate justice, for example, through a critical discussion of two key features of the theory of climate justice developed by Simon Caney.
discussion papers
6. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 2
Kristian Høyer Toft The Human Rights Approach to Climate Change: An Overview
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It is often argued that concerns about the equity of a global climate agreement might appropriately be addressed in the language of human rights. The human rights approach has been promoted by a number of international political actors, including the UN Human Rights Council. As such, human rights are instrumentally applied as a solution to what could be called the “justice problem” in climate negotiations. In order to assess the degree to which human rights could be a useful approach to the justice problem with regard to to climate change, four major issues need to be examined. First, there is the distinction between human rights as protection against climate change versus the right to emit greenhouse gases. Both understandings are found in the debate on climate justice, but they are often not made explicit. Second, the “human rights as protection” approach with a focus on (a) right holders, both presently and in the future, needs to be elucidated, as well as (b) the human rights principles that are at stake, and (c) the duties and duty holders involved. Third, the human right to emit greenhouse gases needs to be clarified in the context of subsistence rights and equal per capita emission rights. Finally, there is the question of whether the cosmopolitan conception of human rights is at odds with the goal of ensuring that individuals assume responsibility for their own carbon-dependent lifestyle.
7. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 2
Robert Huseby John Rawls and Climate Justice: An Amendment to The Law of Peoples
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To what extent does John Rawls’ theory of international justice meet the normative challenges posed by climate change? There are two broadly compatible Rawlsian ways of addressing climate change. The first alternative is based on the two principles that Rawls applies to the domains of international and intergenerational justice (the Principle of Assistance, and the Principle of Just Savings). The second alternative starts from Rawls’ general theory of international justice, in particular his idea of a Society of Peoples, which is an idealized vision of a peaceful and stable association of peoples that are internally well-ordered, and share a desire to respect and uphold international law. Given (a) the statutes peoples are willing to observe, (b) the defining characteristics of peoples, and (c) the fact that Rawls indicates that his own rendering of international law is incomplete, there may be grounds for proposing an additional statute, or an amendment, to The Law of Peoples, that pertains to climate change and that does not contradict, but rather follows from, the general framework of the theory. The latter alternative provides a more viable account of climate justice than critics has hitherto acknowledged.
book reviews
8. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 2
Jerome A. Stone Whitney A. Bauman, Richard R. Bohannon II, and Kevin J. O’Brien, eds. Inherited Land: The Changing Grounds of Religion and Ecology
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9. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 2
Mick Smith Andrew Biro, ed.: Critical Ecologies: The Frankfurt School and Contemporary Environmental Crisis
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10. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 2
Clark Wolf Paul Thompson. The Agrarian Vision: Sustainability and Environmental Ethics
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11. Environmental Ethics: Volume > 35 > Issue: 2
Susan J. Armstrong Leslie Paul Thiele: Indra’s Net and the Midas Touch: Sustainability in a Connected World
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