Preview of "Ethics of Climate Change: What do we owe the planet, people and polar bears?" to be held Sept. 8-9

by Kathleen McCoy  |   

Philosophy professor Raymond Anthony previews the ethics questions to be tackled at the Sept. 8-9 Climate Change Works-in-Progress Conference at UAA. Listen to the podcast recorded on May 13, 2011.

Conference detail: Ethically, what part should we play in the Earth's changing climate? While many of us still struggle to understand the underlying science well enough to evaluate climate-related controversies, a host of politicians, policy makers and scientists have argued that climate change is first and foremost an ethical issue. Consequently, it should be of serious concern to both moral philosophers and all of humanity.

However, only a few moral philosophers are publishing on climate ethics. Some are deterred by the scientific and conceptual difficulty of the subject matter. Others are dissuaded by the enormity of the problems. Here, they are defeated by the sense that climate change is the most critical environmental challenge facing humanity; a colossal calamity riddled with seemingly intractable intra-generational and inter-generational quagmires.

Further, like many laypersons, some philosophers are also overwhelmed by the complexity of the issues and the amount of effort it may take to be proficient in them, since climate change transects numerous disciplinary boundaries.

The public is invited to engage with philosophers and Ph.D. students who are currently helping to frame, shape and discuss the ethical and philosophical dimensions of climate change through their own work. A public symposium is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 8 at UAA. This conference is funded by the National Science Foundation and sponsored by the UAA Department of Philosophy.

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