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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Stephen M. Gardiner
PHIL 416
Seattle Campus

Ethics and Climate Change

Critical examination of the ethical issues surrounding climate change. Prerequisite: either one philosophy or one environmental studies course. Offered: jointly with ENVIR 416.

Class description

Several politicians and scientists have said that climate change is the most important international problem facing the world today. This course will investigate many of the philosophical issues relevant to this problem. Such issues include: What is scientific uncertainty, and how should we behave when confronted with problems that are uncertain in this way? What can economic analysis tell us (and not tell us) about problems with a long time horizon, such as climate change? Is climate change a commons problem? If so, what kind? What would constitute a just allocation of the burdens of climate change? Can our pollution harm future generations when their very existence might depend on our decision to pollute? What are we individually required to do about global and intergenerational problems of this sort? TEXT: "Climate Ethics: Essential Readings", Stephen Gardiner, Simon Caney, Henry Shue, Dale Jamieson, eds.; "A Perfect Moral Storm", Stephen Gardiner; "The Climate Crisis", David Archer and Stefan Rahmsdorf; Turning Technologies Clickers.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Annette R. Bernier
Date: 01/31/2013