Climate Change and Causal Inefficacy: Why Go Green When It Makes No Difference?

Reflection on personal choices and climate change can lead to the thought that nothing an individual does can possibly make a difference to the planet’s future. So why bother going green? This is a version of the problem of causal inefficacy, and it is a particular problem for those with consequentialist leanings. Voters and vegetarians are consulted for help, and a suggestive thought about consistency is pursued. Consequentialist arguments for governmental action are shored up with reflection on consistency, and, hopefully, the result is a solution to the problem: a nearly-consequentialist argument for individual action on climate change.
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DOI 10.1017/S1358246111000269
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Peter Singer (1980). Utilitarianism and Vegetarianism. Philosophy and Public Affairs 9 (4):325-337.
Tom Regan (1980). Utilitarianism, Vegetarianism, and Animal Rights. Philosophy and Public Affairs 9 (4):305-324.

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