Going Fossil Free: A Lesson in Climate Activism and Collective Responsibility

In Filho Walter Leal (ed.), Handbook of Climate Change Research at Universities: Addressing the Mitigation and Adaptation Challenges. Spring International. pp. 55-67 (2017)
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Abstract

Colleges and universities already contribute significantly to the fight against climate change, but the UN has recently called upon them to do even more. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate that institutions of higher education play a unique role in combatting climate change and other structural injustices, not only by conducting research and disseminating knowledge, but also by fostering a form of collective political responsibility. A philosophical analysis of different forms of collective responsibility, with specific attention to the Fossil Free divestment movement, reveals how social position facilitates this contribution more so in colleges than in other institutions.

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Eric S. Godoy
Illinois State University

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