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  1. Individuals’ Contributions to Harmful Climate Change: The Fair Share Argument Restated.Christian Baatz & Lieske Voget-Kleschin - 2019 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 32 (4):569-590.
    In the climate ethics debate, scholars largely agree that individuals should promote institutions that ensure the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. This paper aims to establish that there are individual duties beyond compliance with and promotion of institutions. Duties of individuals to reduce their emissions are often objected to by arguing that an individual’s emissions do not make a morally relevant difference. We challenge this argument from inconsequentialism in two ways. We first show why the argument also seems to undermine (...)
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  • Introduction to the Special Issue on Individual Environmental Responsibility.Lieske Voget-Kleschin, Christian Baatz & Laura Garcia-Portela - 2019 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 32 (4):493-504.
    Human beings are the cause of many current environmental problems. This poses the question of how to respond to these problems at the national and international level. However, many people ask themselves whether they should personally contribute to solving these problems and how they could do so. This is the focus of this Special Issue on Individual Environmental Responsibility. The introduction proposes a way to structure this complex debate by distinguishing three broad clusters of arguments. The first cluster tackles the (...)
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  • Why Be Cautious with Advocating Private Environmental Duties? Towards a Cooperative Ethos and Expressive Reasons.Stijn Neuteleers - 2019 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 32 (4):547-568.
    This article start from two opposing intuitions in the environmental duties debate. On the one hand, if our lifestyle causes environmental harm, then we have a duty to reduce that impact through lifestyle changes. On the other hand, many people share the intuition that environmental duties cannot demand to alter our lifestyle radically for environmental reasons. These two intuitions underlie the current dualism in the environmental duties debate: those arguing for lifestyle changes and those arguing that our duties are limited (...)
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  • Collective Harm and the Inefficacy Problem.Julia Nefsky - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (4):e12587.
    This paper discusses the inefficacy problem that arises in contexts of “collective harm.‘ These are contexts in which by acting in a certain sort of way, people collectively cause harm, or fail to prevent it, but no individual act of the relevant sort seems to itself make a difference. The inefficacy problem is that if acting in the relevant way won’t make a difference, it’s unclear why it would be wrong. Each individual can argue, “things will be just as bad (...)
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  • Climate Change, Individual Preferences, and Procrastination.Fausto Corvino - 2021 - In Sarah Kenehan & Corey Katz (eds.), Climate Justice and Feasibility: Normative Theorizing, Feasibility Constraints, and Climate Action. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 193-211.
    When discussing the general inertia in climate change mitigation, it is common to approach the analysis either in terms of epistemic obstacles (climate change is too scientifically complex to be fully understood by all in its dramatic nature and/or to find space in the media) and/or moral obstacles (the causal link between polluting actions and social damage is too loose, both geographically and temporally, to allow individuals to understand the consequences of their emissions). In this chapter I maintain that both (...)
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  • What’s Wrong with Joyguzzling?Ewan Kingston & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (1):169-186.
    Our thesis is that there is no moral requirement to refrain from emitting reasonable amounts of greenhouse gases solely in order to enjoy oneself. Joyriding in a gas guzzler provides our paradigm example. We first distinguish this claim that there is no moral requirement to refrain from joyguzzling from other more radical claims. We then review several different proposed objections to our view. These include: the claim that joyguzzling exemplifies a vice, causes or contributes to harm, has negative expected value, (...)
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  • Self-Defense, Harm to Others, and Reasons for Action in Collective Action Problems.Mark Bryant Budolfson - 2014 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 17 (1):31-34.
  • Robust Individual Responsibility for Climate Harms.Gianfranco Pellegrino - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (4):811-823.
    According to some scholars, while sets of greenhouse gases emissions generate harms deriving from climate change, which can be mitigated through collective actions, individual emissions and mitigation activities seem to be causally insufficient to cause harms. If so, single individuals are neither responsible for climate harms, nor they have mitigation duties. If this view were true, there would be collective responsibility for climate harms without individual responsibility and collective mitigation duties without individual duties: this is puzzling. This paper explores a (...)
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  • How Should We Respond to Climate Change? Virtue Ethics and Aggregation Problems.Dominic Lenzi - forthcoming - Journal of Social Philosophy.
    Journal of Social Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  • Fossil Fuels.Kian Mintz-Woo - 2023 - In Benjamin Hale, Andrew Light & Lydia A. Lawhon (eds.), Routledge Companion to Environmental Ethics. New York: Routledge. pp. 317-326.
    First, with respect to our personal relationship to fossil fuels, this chapter introduces arguments about whether we should or even can address our own usage of fossil fuels. This involves determining whether offsetting emissions is morally required and practically possible. Second, with respect to our relationship with fossil fuels at the national level, it discusses forms of local resistance, especially divestment and pipeline protesting. Finally, with respect to our relationship with fossil fuels at the international level, it considers two types (...)
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  • Eine Kantische Begründung individueller Klimapflichten.Simon Hollnaicher - 2020 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 97 (4):679-692.
    According to a well-known problem in climate ethics, individual actions cannot be wrong due to their impact on climate change since the individual act does not make a difference. By referring to the practical interpretation of the categorical imperative, the author argues that certain actions lead to a contradiction in conception in light of the climate crisis. Universalizing these actions would cause foreseeable climate impacts, making it impossible to pursue the original maxim effectively. According to the practical interpretation, such actions (...)
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  • Against the Budget View in Climate Ethics.Lukas Tank - forthcoming - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy:1-14.
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  • Climate Change, Distributive Justice, and “Pre‐Institutional” Limits on Resource Appropriation.Colin Hickey - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 29 (1):215-235.
    In this paper I argue that individuals are, prior to the existence of just institutions requiring that they do so, bound as a matter of global distributive justice to restrict their use, or share the benefits fairly of any use beyond their entitlements, of the Earth’s capacity to absorb greenhouse gases (EAC) to within a specified justifiable range. As part of the search for an adequate account of climate morality, I approach the task by revisiting, and drawing inspiration from, two (...)
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  • One Child: Do We Have a Right to More?, Sarah Conly. Oxford University Press, 2016, 248 Pages. [REVIEW]David Wasserman - 2017 - Economics and Philosophy 33 (2):313-319.
  • Individual Environmental Duties: Questions From an Institution-Oriented Perspective.Stijn Neuteleers - 2014 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 17 (1):20-23.
    While Baatz provides an interesting account of individual climate duties, his account does not give much guidance with regard to particular acts, such as taking a flight. While everyone in the debate agrees that institution-oriented duties are important, the relevant question concerns the relation these have with lifestyle-oriented duties. In this comment, it is argued that the relation between institutions and duties is insufficiently examined and that Baatz therefore cannot deal with the following questions. First, what about the conflict between (...)
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  • Responsibility for the Past? Some Thoughts on Compensating Those Vulnerable to Climate Change in Developing Countries.Christian Baatz - 2013 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 16 (1):94-110.
    The first impacts of climate change have become evident and are expected to increase dramatically over the next decades. Thus, it becomes more and more pressing to decide who has to compensate those people who suffer from negative impacts of climate change but have neither contributed to the problem nor possess the resources to cope with the consequences. Since the frequently invoked Polluter Pays Principle cannot account for all climate-related harm, I will take a closer look at the much more (...)
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  • On 'Imperfect' Imperfect Duties and the Epistemic Demands of Integrationist Approaches to Justice.Christian Seidel - 2014 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 17 (1):39-42.
  • The Morality of Carbon Offsets for Luxury Emissions.Stearns Broadhead & Adriana Placani - 2021 - World Futures 77 (6):405-417.
    Carbon offsetting remains contentious within, at least, philosophy. By posing and then answering a general question about an aspect of the morality of carbon offsetting—Does carbon offsetting make luxury emissions morally permissible?—this essay helps to lessen some of the topic’s contentiousness. Its central question is answered by arguing and defending the view that carbon offsetting makes luxury emissions morally permissible by counteracting potential harm. This essay then shows how this argument links to and offers a common starting point for further (...)
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  • Climate Ethics with an Ethnographic Sensibility.Derek Bell, Joanne Swaffield & Wouter Peeters - 2019 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 32 (4):611-632.
    What responsibilities does each of us have to reduce or limit our greenhouse gas emissions? Advocates of individual emissions reductions acknowledge that there are limits to what we can reasonably demand from individuals. Climate ethics has not yet systematically explored those limits. Instead, it has become popular to suggest that such judgements should be ‘context-sensitive’ but this does not tell us what role different contextual factors should play in our moral thinking. The current approach to theory development in climate ethics (...)
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  • Climate Change and Individual Obligations: A Dilemma for the Expected Utility Approach, and the Need for an Imperfect View.Julia Nefsky - 2021 - In Philosophy and Climate Change. Oxford, UK: pp. 201-221.
    This chapter concerns the nature of our obligations as individuals when it comes to our emissions-producing activities and climate change. The first half of the chapter argues that the popular ‘expected utility’ approach to this question faces a problematic dilemma: either it gives skeptical verdicts, saying that there are no such obligations, or it yields implausibly strong verdicts. The second half of the chapter diagnoses the problem. It is argued that the dilemma arises from a very general feature of the (...)
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  • The Most Good We Can Do or the Best Person We Can Be?Michel Bourban & Lisa Broussois - 2020 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 23 (2):159-179.
    We challenge effective altruism (EA) on the basis that it should be more inclusive the prognosis of the underlying theory is I am the master and sick my cock! Thius regarding the demands of altruism. EA should consider carefully agents’ intentions and the role those intentions can play in agents’ moral lives. Although we argue that good intentions play an instrumental role and can lead to better results, by adopting a Hutchesonian perspective, we show that intentions should, first and foremost, (...)
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  • Climate Change, Individual Obligations and the Virtue of Justice.Ryan Darr - 2019 - Studies in Christian Ethics 32 (3):326-340.
    Over the last decade, a number of climate ethicists have turned their attention to the question of individual moral obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Important problems face their efforts, especially what is called the problem of inconsequentialism. The problems, I argue, arise largely from the failure to treat individual obligations as a matter of justice, a failure that stems from the common modern assumption that justice primarily concerns social institutions. I develop an alternative approach by appealing to the account (...)
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  • Climate Change, Individual Emissions, and Foreseeing Harm.Chad Vance - 2017 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 14 (5):562-584.
    There are a number of cases where, collectively, groups cause harm, and yet no single individual’s contribution to the collective makes any difference to the amount of harm that is caused. For instance, though human activity is collectively causing climate change, my individual greenhouse gas emissions are neither necessary nor sufficient for any harm that results from climate change. Some (e.g., Sinnott-Armstrong) take this to indicate that there is no individual moral obligation to reduce emissions. There is a collective action (...)
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  • Climate Neutrality – Towards An Ethical Conception of Climate Neutrality.Rafael Ziegler - 2016 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 19 (3):256-272.
    Over the last decade, climate neutrality has emerged as an empowering, new concept—and it has given rise to concerns that it may be conducive to greenwashing and a disregard for justice and sustainability. Are these concerns justified? This paper argues that there is a qualified case for climate neutrality as part of an integrated approach to climate ethics. There are ethical and economic arguments for climate neutrality. An ethical conception of climate neutrality puts critical emphasis on reduction as well as (...)
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  • Reply to My Critics: Justifying the Fair Share Argument.Christian Baatz - 2016 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 19 (2):160-169.
    In an earlier article I argued that individuals are obligated not to exceed their fair share of emissions entitlements, that many exceed their fair share at present and thus ought to reduce their emissions as far as can reasonably be demanded. The peer commentators raised various insightful and pressing concerns, but the following objections seem particularly important: It was argued that the fair share argument is insufficiently justified, that it is incoherent, that it would result in more far-reaching duties than (...)
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  • Justifying Subsistence Emissions: An Appeal to Causal Impotence.Chad Vance - forthcoming - Journal of Value Inquiry:1-18.
    With respect to climate change, what is wanted is an account that morally condemns the production of ‘luxury’ greenhouse gas emissions (e.g., joyriding in an SUV), but not ‘subsistence’ emissions (e.g., cooking meals). Now, our individual greenhouse gas emissions either cause harm, or they do not—and those who condemn the production of luxury emissions generally stake their position on the grounds that they do cause harm. Meanwhile, those seeking to defend the moral permissibility of luxury emissions generally do so by (...)
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  • Reducing Personal Emissions in Response to Collective Harm.Cassidy Robertson - 2021 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 34 (2):1-13.
    Anthropogenic climate change threatens humanity as a whole, making its mitigation a matter of pressing concern. Mitigation efforts at the institutional level are necessary to successfully change the course of climate change, but thus far governments and industries have been ineffective at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A point of philosophical contention is whether individuals have a moral responsibility to reduce their own emissions given the lack of institutional action. I argue that they do by redefining climate change as a collective (...)
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  • A Kantian Perspective on Individual Responsibility for Sustainability.Kathleen Wallace - 2021 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 24 (1):44-59.
    ABSTRACT I suggest that the Kantian categorical imperative can be a basis for an ethical duty to live sustainably. The universalizability formulation of the categorical imperative should be seen as a test of whether the principle underlying a way of life is self-destructive of the system of living and acting which makes the way of life possible. In exploring this interpretation the self should be conceptualized as a socially and system-constituted being, rather than an atomized will. In this sense, a (...)
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  • The Case for ‘Contributory Ethics’: Or How to Think About Individual Morality in a Time of Global Problems.Travis N. Rieder & Justin Bernstein - 2020 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 23 (3):299-319.
    Many of us believe that we can and do have individual obligations to refrain from contributing to massive collective harms – say, from producing luxury greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; however, our individual actions are so small as to be practically meaningless. Can we then, justify the intuition that we ought to refrain? In this paper, we argue that this debate may have been mis-framed. Rather than investigating whether or not we have obligations to refrain from contributing to collective action, perhaps (...)
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  • On Individual and Shared Obligations: In Defense of the Activist’s Perspective.Gunnar Björnsson - forthcoming - In Mark Budolfson, Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), Philosophy and Climate Change. Oxford University Press.
    We naturally attribute obligations to groups, and take such obligations to have consequences for the obligations of group members. The threat posed by anthropogenic climate change provides an urgent case. It seems that we, together, have an obligation to prevent climate catastrophe, and that we, as individuals, have an obligation to contribute. However, understood strictly, attributions of obligations to groups might seem illegitimate. On the one hand, the groups in question—the people alive today, say—are rarely fully-fledged moral agents, making it (...)
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  • The Duty to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Limits of Permissible Procreation.Trevor Hedberg - 2019 - Essays in Philosophy 20 (1):42-65.
    Many environmental philosophers have argued that there is an obligation for individuals to reduce their individual carbon footprints. However, few of them have addressed whether this obligation would entail a corresponding duty to limit one’s family size. In this paper, I examine several reasons that one might view procreative acts as an exception to a more general duty to reduce one’s individual greenhouse gas emissions. I conclude that none of these reasons are convincing. Thus, if there is an obligation to (...)
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  • III — Justice, Integrity and Moral Community: Do Parents Owe It to Their Children to Bring Them Up as Good Global Climate Citizens?Elizabeth Cripps - 2017 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 117 (1):41-59.
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  • Treading Lightly on the Climate in a Problem-Ridden World.Dan C. Shahar - 2016 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 19 (2):183-195.
    Personal carbon footprints have become a subject of major concern among those who worry about global climate change. Conventional wisdom holds that individuals have a duty to reduce their impacts on the climate system by restricting their carbon footprints. However, I defend a new argument for thinking that this conventional wisdom is mistaken. Individuals, I argue, have a duty to take actions to combat the world’s problems. But since climate change is only one of a nearly endless list of such (...)
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  • What’s the Harm in Climate Change?Eric S. Godoy - 2017 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 20 (1):103-117.
    A popular argument against direct duties for individuals to address climate change holds that only states and other powerful collective agents must act. It excuses individual actions as harmless since they are neither necessary nor sufficient to cause harm, arise through normal activity, and have no clear victims. Philosophers have challenged one or more of these assumptions; however, I show that this definition of harm also excuses states and other collective agents. I cite two examples of this in public discourse (...)
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  • Atmospheric Commons as a Public Trust Resource: The Common Heritage of MankindPrinciple in Dialogue with Duties of Citizenship.Raymond Anthony - 2014 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 17 (1):43-48.
  • Individual Duties to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions in China.Paul G. Harris & Elias Mele - 2014 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 17 (1):49-51.
  • Fair Shares and Decent Lives.Paul Bowman - 2014 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 17 (1):24-26.