Ethical dimensions of climate change

Ethical dimensions of climate change March 30, 2009

Gotta love this guy:

I had the pleasure of meeting Don Brown, the speaker here, twice over the last couple years as he has traveled to Missoula each summer for our National Science Foundation program: Debating Science.

He concludes this talk by quoting writer Bill McKibben who said the following:

I’m sitting here wondering why Americans don’t see Climate Change as a moral and an ethical issue. It makes me think of my parents, who were really good people, but who did not ‘get’ civil rights until they saw the dogs on the bridge in Selma, Alabama… It is all of our duties to help people to see the moral and ethical dimensions of Climate Change – especially those of us who understand the problem…

Hear hear. It is an old idea, but one that has perhaps faded in recent years, that of noblesse oblige, the idea that being in a position of power, influence, and education obligates you to act not merely for your own enjoyment and welfare, but for the sake of your community – which today is the world.

Oh yea, and one other thing. We at the Center for Ethics (where I work) are holding our 4th Annual Environmental Ethics Institute in two months. Check out the webpage and consider joining us and passing this information along to others. Not only will we have Andrew Light, perhaps the foremost academic and engaging speaker on Environmental Ethics, to lead the course, but also

  • Christopher Preston, an excellent philosopher and ethicist in his own right,
  • Steve Running, contributor to the 2007 Nobel Prize Winning IPCC report on climate change and
  • Robin Saha, contributor to the 2007 “Toxic Waste and Race at 20 (1987-2007)” report.

And then there are the participants, who will come from around the country, who in the past have included top-notch journalists, activists, professors, professionals, and students (both graduate and a few undergrads).

Anyhow – help spread the word if you can or -better- sign up and learn how you can help save the world!

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