Ben Almassi
Governors State University
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong argues, on the relationship between individual emissions and climate change, that “we cannot claim to know that it is morally wrong to drive a gas guzzler just for fun” or engage in other inessential emissions-producing individual activities. His concern is not uncertainty about the phenomenon of climate change, nor about human contribution to it. Rather, on Sinnott-Armstrong’s analysis the claim of individual moral responsibility for emissions must be grounded in a defensible moral principle, yet no principle withstands scrutiny. I argue thatthe moral significance of individual emissions is obscured by this critique. I offer a moral principle, the threshold-contribution principle, capable of withstanding Sinnott-Armstrong’s criticisms while also plausibly explaining what’s wrong with gas-guzzling joyrides and other gratuitous emissions-producing individual acts.
Keywords climate change  environmental ethics  collective action  moral epistemology
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Robust Individual Responsibility for Climate Harms.Gianfranco Pellegrino - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (4):811-823.
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Climate Change, Individual Obligations and the Virtue of Justice.Ryan Darr - 2019 - Studies in Christian Ethics 32 (3):326-340.

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