Climae Change, Population, and Justice: Hard Choices to Avoid Tragic Choices

Global Justice: Theory Practice Rhetoric 8 (2) (2015)
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However far we are from either in practice, basic global and intergenerational justice, including climate change mitigation, are taken to be theoretically compatible. If population grows as predicted, this could cease to be the case. This paper asks whether that tragic legacy can now be averted without hard or even tragic choices on population policy. Current generations must navigate between: a high-stakes gamble on undeveloped technology; violating human rights; demanding unbearable sacrifices of the already badly off; institutional unfairness across adults; institutional unfairness across children; failing to protect children’s basic interests; and threatening the autonomy of the family. We are not yet forced to choose between bequeathing a tragic choice and making one, by adopting basically unjust measures. However, even the remaining options present a morally hard choice. The fact we face it is yet another damning indictment on the combined actions and collective failures of the global elite.



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Elizabeth Cripps
University of Edinburgh

References found in this work

The Right to Parent One's Biological Baby.Anca Gheaus - 2011 - Journal of Political Philosophy 20 (4):432-455.
Overconsumption and procreation: Are they morally equivalent?Thomas Young - 2001 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 18 (2):183–192.
Environmentalism, procreation, and the principle of fairness.Paula Casal - 1999 - Public Affairs Quarterly 13 (4):363-376.
Equality of resources and procreative justice.Paula Casal & Andrew Williams - 2004 - In Justine Burley (ed.), Dworkin and His Critics: With Replies by Dworkin. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 150--169.

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