Climate Change Ethics to Be Explored
Byline: Greg Bolt The Register-Guard
As people continue to debate the science behind climate change, a two-year program at the University of Oregon is moving beyond data to explore the moral and ethical implications of a warming planet.
The UO's Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics is staging a series of events around the theme "Climate Ethics and Climate Equity." The next event will be a public talk by New York University environmental studies and philosophy professor Dale Jamieson, who will discuss "The Moral and Political Challenges of Climate Change."
Jamieson's talk will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Room 110 of the Knight Law Center on the UO campus. It is free and open to the public.
Jamieson was among the first scholars to explore the ethical implications of climate change, said Margaret Hallock, the Morse Center director. He calls human-caused climate change "the greatest collective challenge humanity has ever faced."
For the most part the debate on global warming has centered on the science supporting it, but Jamieson believes the issue won't be addressed successfully until people look beyond data and frame it as a moral issue.
For people to care about climate change, he suggests they need to accept it as socially wrong.
"We're going to have to change our attitude so that for the next generation burning coal is going to be seen as behavior that's every bit as unrespectable as lighting up a cigar in a public place," said Jamieson, who holds this year's Wayne Morse Chair. …