Author: Alex Epstein
Release Date: 2014-11-13
Genre: Business & Economics
Could everything we know about fossil fuels be wrong? For decades, environmentalists have told us that using fossil fuels is a self-destructive addiction that will destroy our planet. Yet at the same time, by every measure of human well-being, from life expectancy to clean water to climate safety, life has been getting better and better. How can this be? The explanation, energy expert Alex Epstein argues in The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, is that we usually hear only one side of the story. We’re taught to think only of the negatives of fossil fuels, their risks and side effects, but not their positives—their unique ability to provide cheap, reliable energy for a world of seven billion people. And the moral significance of cheap, reliable energy, Epstein argues, is woefully underrated. Energy is our ability to improve every single aspect of life, whether economic or environmental. If we look at the big picture of fossil fuels compared with the alternatives, the overall impact of using fossil fuels is to make the world a far better place. We are morally obligated to use more fossil fuels for the sake of our economy and our environment. Drawing on original insights and cutting-edge research, Epstein argues that most of what we hear about fossil fuels is a myth. For instance . . . Myth: Fossil fuels are dirty. Truth: The environmental benefits of using fossil fuels far outweigh the risks. Fossil fuels don’t take a naturally clean environment and make it dirty; they take a naturally dirty environment and make it clean. They don’t take a naturally safe climate and make it dangerous; they take a naturally dangerous climate and make it ever safer. Myth: Fossil fuels are unsustainable, so we should strive to use “renewable” solar and wind. Truth: The sun and wind are intermittent, unreliable fuels that always need backup from a reliable source of energy—usually fossil fuels. There are huge amounts of fossil fuels left, and we have plenty of time to find something cheaper. Myth: Fossil fuels are hurting the developing world. Truth: Fossil fuels are the key to improving the quality of life for billions of people in the developing world. If we withhold them, access to clean water plummets, critical medical machines like incubators become impossible to operate, and life expectancy drops significantly. Calls to “get off fossil fuels” are calls to degrade the lives of innocent people who merely want the same opportunities we enjoy in the West. Taking everything into account, including the facts about climate change, Epstein argues that “fossil fuels are easy to misunderstand and demonize, but they are absolutely good to use. And they absolutely need to be championed. . . . Mankind’s use of fossil fuels is supremely virtuous—because human life is the standard of value and because using fossil fuels transforms our environment to make it wonderful for human life.”
Author: Ravi Kanbur
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2018-11-10
Genre: Business & Economics
Climate justice requires sharing the burdens and benefits of climate change and its resolution equitably and fairly. It brings together justice between generations and justice within generations. In particular it requires that attempts to address justice between generations through various interventions designed to curb greenhouse emissions today do not end up creating injustice in our time by hurting the currently poor and vulnerable. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) summit in September 2015, and the Conference of Parties (COP) to the Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris in December 2015, brought climate change and its development impact centre stage in global discussions. In the run up to Paris, Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for Climate Change, instituted the Climate Justice Dialogue "to mobilize political will and creative thinking to shape an ambitious and just international climate agreement in 2015". The editors of this volume, an economist and a philosopher, served on the High Level Advisory Committee of the Climate Justice Dialogue. They noted the overlap and mutual enforcement between the economic and philosophical discourses on climate justice. But they also noted the great need for these strands to come together to support the public and policy discourse. Climate Justice: Integrating Economics and Philosophy is the result. Bringing together contributions from economists and philosophers, Climate Justice illustrates the different approaches, how they overlap and interact, and what they have already learned from each other and might still have to learn.
Author: Anne C. Cunningham
Publisher: Enslow Publishing, LLC
Release Date: 2016-12-15
Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction
Renewable energy is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the global economy as climate scientists and environmentalists give voice to the detrimental effects of fossil fuels. But how far have we gotten in developing efficient and sustainable energy, including solar, wind, and geothermal power, and what are the benefits of these renewable energy sources compared to fossil fuels? This text examines the issue from diverse viewpoints, allowing students to analyze key ideas in energy production through primary source evidence.
Author: Harvey S James Jr
Release Date: 2018-08-20
The introduction of new technologies can be controversial, especially when they create ethical tensions as well as winners and losers among stakeholders and interest groups. While ethical tensions resulting from the genetic modification of crops and plants and their supportive gene technologies have been apparent for decades, persistent challenges remain. This book explores the contemporary nature, type, extent and implications of ethical tensions resulting from agricultural biotechnology specifically and technology generally. There are four main arenas of ethical tensions: public opinion, policy and regulation, technology as solutions to problems, and older versus new technologies. Contributions focus on one or more of these arenas by identifying the ethical tensions technology creates and articulating emerging fault lines and, where possible, viable solutions. Key features include focusing on contemporary challenges created by new and emerging technologies, especially agricultural biotechnology. Identifying a unique perspective by considering the problem of ethical tensions created or enhanced by new technologies. Providing an interdisciplinary perspective by including perspectives from sociologists, economists, philosophers and other social scientists. This book will be of interest to academics in agricultural economics, sociology and philosophy and policymakers concerned with introducing new technology into agriculture.
Author: Hans-Georg Moeller
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2009-07-15
Justice, equality, and righteousness these are some of our greatest moral convictions. Yet in times of social conflict, morals can become rigid, making religious war, ethnic cleansing, and political purges possible. Morality, therefore, can be viewed as pathology-a rhetorical, psychological, and social tool that is used and abused as a weapon. An expert on Eastern philosophies and social systems theory, Hans-Georg Moeller questions the perceived goodness of morality and those who claim morality is inherently positive. Critiquing the ethical "fanaticism" of Western moralists, such as Immanuel Kant, Lawrence Kohlberg, John Rawls, and the utilitarians, Moeller points to the absurd fundamentalisms and impracticable prescriptions arising from definitions of good. Instead he advances a theory of "moral foolishness," or moral asceticism, extracted from the "amoral" philosophers of East Asia and such thinkers as Ludwig Wittgenstein and Niklas Luhmann. The moral fool doesn't understand why ethics are necessarily good, and he isn't convinced that the moral perspective is always positive. In this way he is like most people, and Moeller defends this foolishness against ethical pathologies that support the death penalty, just wars, and even Jerry Springer's crude moral theater. Comparing and contrasting the religious philosophies of Christianity, Daoism, and Zen Buddhism, Moeller presents a persuasive argument in favor of amorality.
Author: Thomas Potthast
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2012-08-13
Climate change is a major framing condition for sustainable development of agriculture and food. Global food production is a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions and at the same time it is among the sectors worst affected by climate change. This book brings together a multidisciplinary group of authors exploring the ethical dimensions of climate change and food. Conceptual clarifications provide a necessary basis for putting sustainable development into practice. Adaptation and mitigation demand altering both agricultural and consumption practices. Intensive vs. extensive production is reassessed with regard to animal welfare, efficiency and environmental implications. Property rights pay an ever-increasing role, as do shifting land-use practices, agro-energy, biotechnology, food policy to green consumerism. And, last but not least, tools are suggested for teaching agricultural and food ethics. Notwithstanding the plurality of ethical analyses and their outcome, it becomes apparent that governance of agri-food is faced by new needs and new approaches of bringing in the value dimension much more explicitly. This book is intended to serve as a stimulating collection that will contribute to debate and reflection on the sustainable future of agriculture and food production in the face of global change.
In The Climate War, Eric Pooley—deputy editor of Bloomberg BusinessWeek—does for global warming what Bob Woodward did for presidents and Lawrence Wright did for terrorists. In this epic tale of an American civil war, Pooley takes us behind the scenes and into the hearts and minds of the most important players in the struggle to cap global warming pollution—a fight in which trillions of dollars and the fate of the planet are at stake. Why has it been so hard for America to come to grips with climate change? Why do so many people believe it isn't really happening? As President Obama’s science advisor John Holdren has said, “We’re driving in a car with bad brakes in a fog and heading for a cliff. We know for sure that cliff is out there. We just don’t know exactly where it is. Prudence would suggest that we should start putting on the brakes.” But powerful interests are threatened by the carbon cap that would speed the transition to a clean energy economy, and their agents have worked successfully to deny the problem and delay the solutions. To write this book, Pooley, the former managing editor of Fortune and chief political correspondent for Time, spent three years embedded with an extraordinary cast of characters: from the flamboyant head of one of the nation's largest coal-burning energy companies to the driven environmental leader who made common cause with him, from leading scientists warning of impending catastrophe to professional skeptics disputing almost every aspect of climate science, from radical activists chaining themselves to bulldozers to powerful lobbyists, media gurus, and advisors in Obama's West Wing—and, to top it off, unprecedented access to former Vice President Al Gore and his team of climate activists. Pooley captures the quiet determination and even heroism of climate campaigners who have dedicated their lives to an uphill battle that’s still raging today. He asks whether we have what it takes to preserve our planet’s habitability, and shows how America’s climate war sends shock waves from Bali to Copenhagen. No other reporter enjoys such access to this cast of characters. No other book covers this terrain. From the trenches of a North Carolina power plant to the battlefields of Capitol Hill, Madison Avenue, and Wall Street, The Climate War is the essential read for anyone who wants to understand the players and politics behind the most important issue we face today.
Author: Michael R Redclift
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
Release Date: 2013-10-31
Genre: Political Science
The Handbook is international in scope and provides an assessment that will be of value to academics, students and policy professionals alike. NGOs and policy institutes which need a grasp of the specificity and range of the issues and problems will al
Author: Henry Shue
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Release Date: 2014-06-12
Genre: Political Science
The fruit of twenty years of moral reflection on the emerging greatest challenge to humanity of the 21st century, these far-sighted and influential essays by a pioneering practical philosopher on the tangled questions of justice between nations and justice across generations confronting all attempts at international cooperation in controlling climate change sharply crystallize the central choices and offer constructive directions forward. Arguing that persistent attempts by U.S. negotiators to avoid the fundamental issues of justice at the heart of persistent international disagreement on the terms of a binding multilateral treaty are as morally misguided as they are diplomatically counter-productive, Henry Shue has built a case that efforts to price carbon (through cap-and-trade or carbon taxes) as a mechanism to drive down greenhouse gas emissions by the affluent must, for both ethical and political reasons, be complemented by international transfers that temporarily subsidize the development of non-carbon energy and its dissemination to those trapped in poverty. Our vital escape from climate change rooted in the dominance of the fossil fuel regime ought not, and in fact need not, come at the price of de-railing the escape of the world's poorest from poverty rooted in lack of affordable energy that does not undermine the climate. The momentum of changes in the planetary climate system and the political inertia of energy regimes mean that future generations, like the poorest of the present, are vulnerable to our decisions, and they have rights not to be left helpless by those of us with the power instead to leave them hope.
Author: Stephen M. Gardiner
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2011-05-04
Climate change is arguably the great problem confronting humanity, but we have done little to head off this looming catastrophe. In The Perfect Moral Storm, philosopher Stephen Gardiner illuminates our dangerous inaction by placing the environmental crisis in an entirely new light, considering it as an ethical failure. Gardiner clarifies the moral situation, identifying the temptations (or "storms") that make us vulnerable to a certain kind of corruption. First, the world's most affluent nations are tempted to pass on the cost of climate change to the poorer and weaker citizens of the world. Second, the present generation is tempted to pass the problem on to future generations. Third, our poor grasp of science, international justice, and the human relationship to nature helps to facilitate inaction. As a result, we are engaging in willful self-deception when the lives of future generations, the world's poor, and even the basic fabric of life on the planet is at stake. We should wake up to this profound ethical failure, Gardiner concludes, and demand more of our institutions, our leaders and ourselves. "This is a radical book, both in the sense that it faces extremes and in the sense that it goes to the roots." --Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews "The book's strength lies in Gardiner's success at understanding and clarifying the types of moral issues that climate change raises, which is an important first step toward solutions." --Science Magazine "Gardiner has expertly explored some very instinctual and vitally important considerations which cannot realistically be ignored. --Required reading." --Green Prophet "Gardiner makes a strong case for highlighting and insisting on the ethical dimensions of the climate problem, and his warnings about buck-passing and the dangerous appeal of moral corruptions hit home." --Times Higher Education "Stephen Gardiner takes to a new level our understanding of the moral dimensions of climate change. A Perfect Moral Storm argues convincingly that climate change is the greatest moral challenge our species has ever faced - and that the problem goes even deeper than we think." --Peter Singer, Princeton University
Author: Jane Hoffman
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 2008-06-24
Genre: Political Science
Green will illustrate and shed new light on the gamut of issues associated with renewable energy, a topic whose importance increases exponentially with every temperature record-setting year. Jane and Michael Hoffman use their years of experience to explain the technological and economic future of this ecologically significant issue. They incisively explain its politics: what countries are doing right now and, most importantly, what the U.S. should be doing. Green will cut through the hype and polemics surrounding ecologically friendly technologies and present the unvarnished truth. It will guide the reader through the misinformation and confusion over global warming, and demonstrate the degree to which renewable energy can be part of the solution.
"Open this book and James Garvey is right there making real sense to you... in a necessary conversation, capturing you to the very end."-Ted Honderich, Grote Professor Emeritus of The Philosophy of Mind & Logic, University College London, UK. James Garvey argues that the ultimate rationale for action on climate change cannot be simply economic, political, scientific or social, though our decisions should be informed by such things. Instead, climate change is largely a moral problem. What we should do about it depends on what matters to us and what we think is right. This book is an introduction to the ethics of climate change. It considers a little climate science and a lot of moral philosophy, ultimately finding a way into the many possible positions associated with climate change. It is also a call for action, for doing something about the moral demands placed on both governments and individuals by the fact of climate change. This is a book about choices, responsibility, and where the moral weight falls on our warming world.