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An overview of Environmental Ethics

  1. Resources
  2. Guide Questions
  3. Smartboard Notes

Here are some web sites that will enhance your understanding of this week's reading:

Environmental Ethics, Public Policy & Intergenerational justice:



Guide Questions:

The following questions are designed to fine tune your understanding of the reading. The subject matter and answers to these questions form the basis of what you will be required to know for exams.

Objectives for this week: These are the learning objectives you should have mastered after attending the lectures and completing the questions below

  1. understand the connection between CO2 emissions and climate change
  2. review scientific resources on climate change to discern relevant trends and projections for the 21st century
  3. understand the problems surrounding management approaches to global warming
  4. explain how global environmental problems differ from classical ethical dilemmas with regards to agency and responsibility
  5. describe the connection between current environmental challenges and intergenerational justice
  6. explain why intergenerational justice falls into the distributive justice category
  7. discuss the premiss of fundamental equality

Ethics, Public Policy & Global Warming (Jamieson)

Guide Questions:

  1. According to the 1990 IPCC report, what would be necessary to stabilize the rate of carbon dioxide doubling by the end of the 20th century? Did we make it happen? According to the Copenhagen 2010 reports, what are the projections for the 21st century? (Check these sites too: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Real Climate, or Union of Concerned Scientists)
  2. Jamieson claims that management approaches to global warming are destined to fail. From pages 373-375 list at least three of these reasons and comment on the accuracy of the authors predictions.
  3. Also, from pages 374-375 describe three factors that create uncertainty in estimating the impact of global warming? How have our models changed since the early 1990s?
  4. According to Jamieson the dominant value system governing our actions toward global warming is a byproduct of the enlightenment. Why/how must this epic change to react to current historical circumstances?
  5. How do global environmental problems differ from classical ethical dilemmas with regards to agency and responsibility?
  6. With regards to models versus ethical dispositions, how does Jamieson suggest that we should revise our approach to dealing with ethics, public policy and global warming?
  7. Given the enormous range of data that we are provided describing the causes and effects of global warming on a regular basis, why do individuals feel helpless in effecting positive change on this issue?

Sustainability and Intergenerational Justice (Barry)

Guide Questions:

  1. Briefly explain four principles that comprise the premise of fundamental equality. Also, describe the implications of each of these principles of justice for justice between generations. (488-489)
  2. What is the core idea of universalism and how can it be used to counter the argument that different conceptions of justice should be allowed in different geographical and historical circumstances?
  3. From Section 3, Sustainability, what is the core concept of sustainability Barry advances in discussing intergenerational justice?
  4. From Section 4, Sustainability and Intergenerational Justice, explain the principle of responsibility. How does this principle link current generations to future generations?
  5. Briefly describe how the following are linked to sustainability and intergenerational justice: population size and the education of women.
  6. From page 495, how might sustainability be defined in the future?

Smartboard Notes

Smartboard Notes from Week 9-10 Lectures:







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