Climate, Collective Action and Individual Ethical Obligations
AbstractBoth Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Baylor Johnson hold that under current circumstances, individuals lack obligations to reduce their personal contributions to greenhouse gas emissions. Johnson argues that climate change has the structure of a tragedy of the commons, and that there is no unilateral obligation to reduce emissions in a commons. Against Johnson, I articulate two rationales for an individual obligation to reduce one's greenhouse gas emissions. I first discuss moral integrity, which recommends congruence between one's actions and positions at the personal and political levels. Second, I draw on a Confucian, relational conception of persons to offer a critique of the collective action/tragedy of the commons framework itself. Under the relational conception, commons problems can be reconceptualised so as to dissolve the stark contrast between the individually and the collectively rational. This perspective can inform our approach to climate change and help reconcile individual and political action to mitigate it.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by White Horse Press in its journal Environmental Values.
Volume (Year): 19 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.erica.demon.co.uk
Climate change; collective action; Confucius; commons; environmental ethics;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
- Q21 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Demand and Supply; Prices
- Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Baylor Johnson, 2011. "The Possibility of a Joint Communiqu�: My Response to Hourdequin," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, White Horse Press, vol. 20(2), pages 147-156, May.
- Ty Raterman, 2012. "Bearing the Weight of the World: On the Extent of an Individual's Environmental Responsibility," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, White Horse Press, vol. 21(4), pages 417-436, November.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Andrew Johnson).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.