A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change by Stephen M. GardinerA Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change by Stephen M. Gardiner

A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change

byStephen M. Gardiner

Paperback | February 5, 2013

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Climate change is arguably the great problem confronting humanity, but we have done little to head off this looming catastrophe. In The Perfect Moral Storm, philosopher Stephen Gardiner illuminates our dangerous inaction by placing the environmental crisis in an entirely new light, considering it as an ethical failure. Gardiner clarifies the moral situation, identifying the temptations (or "storms") that make us vulnerable to a certain kind of corruption. First, the world''s most affluent nations are tempted to pass on the cost of climate change to the poorer and weaker citizens of the world. Second, the present generation is tempted to pass the problem on to future generations. Third, our poor grasp of science, international justice, and the human relationship to nature helps to facilitate inaction. As a result, we are engaging in willful self-deception when the lives of future generations, the world''s poor, and even the basic fabric of life on the planet is at stake. We should wake up to this profound ethical failure, Gardiner concludes, and demand more of our institutions, our leaders and ourselves.
Stephen M. Gardiner is Professor of Philosophy and Ben Rabinowitz Endowed Professor of Human Dimensions of the Environment at the University of Washington, Seattle. He is the coordinating co-editor of Climate Ethics: Essential Readings (Oxford, 2010), and the editor of Virtue Ethics: Old and New (Cornell, 2005). He is currently co-edit...
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Title:A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate ChangeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:518 pages, 9.21 X 6.14 X 0.68 inPublished:February 5, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199985146

ISBN - 13:9780199985142

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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgements Introduction: A Global Environmental Tragedy I. Some Assumptions II. Introducing the Perfect Storm Metaphor III. Climate Change IV. The Wider Relevance of the Model V. Outline of the Book Part A: Overview 1. A Perfect Moral Storm I. Why Ethics? II. The Global Storm III. The Intergenerational Storm IV. The Theoretical Storm V. The Problem of Moral Corruption 2. A Consumption Tragedy I. What is the Point of Game Theory? II. Motivating the Models III. A Green Energy Revolution? IV. Consumption and Happiness Part B: The Global Storm 3. Somebody Else''s Problem I. Past Climate Policy II. Somebody Else''s Burden III. Against Optimism IV. Conclusion 4. In the Shadow of a Common Tragedy I. Climate Prisoners? II. An Evolving Tragedy III. Beyond Pessimism IV. Lingering Tragedy V. Climate Policy in the Shadows VI. Conclusion Part C: The Intergenerational Storm 5. The Tyranny of the Contemporary I. Problems with ''Generations'' II. Intergenerational Buck-Passing III. Intergenerational Buck-Passing vs. The Prisoners'' Dilemma IV. The Features of the Pure Intergenerational Problem V. Applications and Complications VI. Mitigating Factors VII. The Non-Identity Problem: A Quick Aside VIII. Conclusion 6. An Intergenerational Arms Race? I. Abrupt Climate Change II. Three Causes of Political Inertia III. Against Undermining IV. Conclusion Part D: The Theoretical Storm 7. A Global Test for Political Institutions and Theories I. The Global Test II. Scenarios III. A Conjecture IV. Theoretical Vices V. An Illustration: Utilitarianism VI. Understanding the Complaint VII. Conclusion 8. Cost-Benefit Paralysis I. Cost-Benefit Analysis in Normal Contexts II. CBA for Climate Change III. The Presumption Against Discounting IV. The Basic Economics of the Discount Rate V. Discounting the Rich? VI. Declining Discount Rates VII. Two Objections to "Not Discounting" VIII. The "Devil''s in the Details" Argument IX. Conclusions Part E: Moral Corruption 9. Jane Austen vs. Climate Economics I. Corruption II. The Dubious Dashwoods: Initial Parallels III. The Opening Assault on the Status of the Moral Claim IV. The Assault on Content V. Indirect Attacks VI. The Moral of the Story 10. Geoengineering in an Atmosphere of Evil I. An Idea that is Changing the World II. The Problem of Political Inertia Revisited III. Two Preliminary Arguments: Cost and "Research First"? IV. Arming the Future V. Arm the Present? VI. Evolving Shadows VII. Underestimating ''Evil'' VIII. An Atmosphere of Evil? IX. "But... Should We Do It?" Part F: What Now? Conclusion: The Immediate Future Postscript: Some Initial Ethics of the Transition I. Introduction II. The Ethics of Skepticism III. Past Emissions IV. Future Emissions V. Responsibility VI. Ideal Theory VII. Conclusion Appendices Appendix 1: The Population Tragedy I. Hardin''s Analysis II. Population as a Tragedy of the Commons III. Total Environmental Impact IV. Conclusion Appendix 2: Epistemic Corruption and Scientific Uncertainty in Michael Crichton''s State of Fear I. What the Scientists Know II. Certainty, Guesswork and the Missing Middle III. Conclusion

Editorial Reviews

"Stephen Gardiner takes to a new level our understanding of the moral dimensions of climate change. A Perfect Moral Storm argues convincingly that climate change is the greatest moral challenge our species has ever faced - and that the problem goes even deeper than we think." --Peter Singer, Princeton University