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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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    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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    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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