Climate Change and Moral Outrage

Human Ecology Review 17 (2):96-101 (2010)
State governments have done little or nothing about climate change, and individuals have done little or nothing about their own carbon footprints. Perhaps both parties would do something if the moral demand for action were clear. This paper presents two arguments for the necessity of meaningful state action on climate change. The arguments depend on certain clear facts about emissions as well as two uncontroversial moral principles — one owed to Peter Singer and the other connecting capacities with the demand for action. Arguments are presented for individual action based on a similar set of facts and the consistent application of principles which apply in state cases. The arguments put consistency, not consequences, at the heart of the call for individual action. This is a strategy which might help individuals recognize their obligations to the environment.
Keywords climate change  applied eithcs  justice
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