Atmospheric Justice: A Political Theory of Climate Change

Paperback | October 8, 2009

bySteve Vanderheiden

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When the policies and activities of one country or generation harm both other nations and later generations, they constitute serious injustices. Recognizing the broad threat posed by anthropogenic climate change, advocates for an international climate policy development process have expresslyaimed to mitigate this pressing contemporary environmental threat in a manner that promotes justice. Yet, while making justice a primary objective of global climate policy has been the movement's noblest aspiration, it remains an onerous challenge for policymakers.Atmospheric Justice is the first single-authored work of political theory that addresses this pressing challenge via the conceptual frameworks of justice, equality, and responsibility. Throughout this incisive study, Steve Vanderheiden points toward ways to achieve environmental justice by exploringhow climate change raises issues of both international and intergenerational justice. In addition, he considers how the design of a global climate regime might take these aims into account. Engaging with the principles of renowned political philosopher John Rawls, he expands on them by factoring inthe needs of future generations. Vanderheiden also demonstrates how political theory can contribute to reaching a better understanding of the proper human response to climate change. By showing how climate policy offers insights into resolving contemporary controversies within political theory, heillustrates the ways in which applying normative theory to policy allows us to better understand both. Thoroughly researched and persuasively argued, Atmospheric Justice makes an important step toward providing us with a set of carefully elaborated first principles for achieving environmental justice.

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When the policies and activities of one country or generation harm both other nations and later generations, they constitute serious injustices. Recognizing the broad threat posed by anthropogenic climate change, advocates for an international climate policy development process have expresslyaimed to mitigate this pressing contemporary...

Steve Vanderheiden is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he specializes in normative political theory and environmental politics.

other books by Steve Vanderheiden

Environmental Justice
Environmental Justice

Hardcover|Jul 17 2015

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 6.1 × 9.21 × 0.59 inPublished:October 8, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199733120

ISBN - 13:9780199733125

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. The politics of climate change mitigation2. Climate change, fairness, and equity3. Climate change and international justice4. Climate change and intergenerational justice5. Moral responsibility and greenhouse gas emissions6. Knowledge, beliefs, and responsibility7. Equity, responsibility, and climate change mitigationBibliography