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Wrongful Harm to Future Generations: The Case of Climate Change

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  • Marc D. Davidson
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    Abstract

    In this article I argue that governments are justified in addressing the potential for human induced climate damages on the basis of future generations' rights to bodily integrity and personal property. First, although future generations' entitlements to property originate in our present entitlements, the principle of self-ownership requires us to take 'reasonable care' of the products of future labour. Second, while Parfit's non-identity problem has as yet no satisfactory solution, the present absence of an equilibrium between theory and intuitions justifies a precautionary approach, i.e. treating climate damage as a wrongful harm. In addition, a supplementary consideration is described as arising from transcendental needs.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by White Horse Press in its journal Environmental Values.

    Volume (Year): 17 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 4 (November)
    Pages: 471-488

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    Handle: RePEc:env:journl:ev17:ev1725

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    Web page: http://www.erica.demon.co.uk

    Related research

    Keywords: Climate change; future generations; wrongful harm; non-identity problem;

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    Cited by:
    1. Erik Ansink & Hans-Peter Weikard, 2012. "Sequential sharing rules for river sharing problems," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 187-210, February.
    2. Richard S. J. Tol, 2010. "The Economic Impact of Climate Change," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11(s1), pages 13-37, 05.
    3. Marc D. Davidson, 2012. "Intergenerational Justice: How Reasonable Man Discounts Climate Damage," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 4(1), pages 106-122, January.

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