David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Ethics and the Environment 14 (1):pp. 79-99 (2009)
Global warming has aroused profound concerns about the future of humanity and the planet as a whole. Indeed, Bill McKibben has argued that anthropogenic climate change is tantamount to the very end of nature and articulates a sense of deep anxiety that many people share. I argue that this feeling of anxiety cannot be fully accounted for either by appeal to the consequences of global warming or the associated injustices. I locate its source with our recognition that human beings are now responsible for some of the basic conditions supporting all life on Earth. I argue that if we are to assume such an awesome responsibility (and we must), it's good that we do so anxiously. While some have criticized the "I have a nightmare" global warming rhetoric of environmentalists, I identify a particular feature of our nightmare and claim that in it we can find a source for hope.
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