Environmental Values 20 (2):157 - 162 (2011)

Authors
Marion Hourdequin
Colorado College
Abstract
Can unilateral action be an effective response to global climate change? Baylor Johnson worries that a focus on unilateral action by individuals will detract from efforts to secure collective agreements to address the problem. Although Johnson and I agree that individuals have some obligation to reduce their personal emissions, we differ in the degree to which we see personal reductions as effective in spurring broader change. I argue that 'unilateral reductions' can have communicative value and that they can change the structure of collective action problems, making such problems easier to solve. Since collective action problems are much less tractable where individuals abide by the tenets of traditional game theory and much more tractable where individuals are oriented to cooperate and to trust that others will reciprocate, we need moral norms that promote individual restraint in exploitation of the commons, and we ought ourselves to abide by those norms
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DOI 10.3197/096327111X12997574391643
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Climate Change and Individual Duties to Reduce GHG Emissions.Christian Baatz - 2014 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 17 (1):1-19.
The Tragedy of the Commons as an Essentially Aggregative Harm.Elizabeth Kahn - 2014 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 31 (3):223-236.
Treading Lightly on the Climate in a Problem-Ridden World.Dan C. Shahar - 2016 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 19 (2):183-195.

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