Saved by disaster? Abrupt climate change, political inertia, and the possibility of an intergenerational arms race
Journal of Social Philosophy 40 (2):140-162 (2009)
AbstractTraditional concern for the gradual, incremental effects of climate change remains; but now greater attention is being paid to the possibility of breaching major thresholds in the climate system with catastrophic consequences. It might be thought that the potential for abrupt climate change (a) undermines the usual (economic, psychological, and intergenerational) analyses of the climate change problem, and (b) in doing so helps us to act. Against this, I argue both that much of the psychological and intergenerational analyses remains in place, and that abrupt climate change may make action more difficult, perhaps even setting off an intergenerational arms race.
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