Atmospheric Justice: A Political Theory of Climate Change

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $9.94
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 84%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (13) from $9.94   
  • New (6) from $49.14   
  • Used (7) from $9.94   


When the policies and activities of one country or generation harm others, they constitute serious injustices. Recognizing the broad threat posed by anthropogenic climate change, global environmental policy advocates have aimed to mitigate it in a manner that promotes justice. Yet, while global environmental justice policy has been the movement's noblest aspiration, it remains an onerous challenge for policymakers. Atmospheric Justice addresses this pressing challenge via the conceptual frameworks of justice, equality, and responsibility. Throughout, Steve Vanderheiden explores how climate change raises issues of both international and intergenerational justice. In addition, he considers how the design of a global climate regime might take these issues into account. Engaging with the principles of renowned political philosopher John Rawls, he expands on them by factoring in the needs of future generations. By showing how climate policy offers insights into resolving contemporary controversies within political theory, he illustrates the ways in which applying normative theory to policy allows us to better understand both. Persuasively argued, Atmospheric Justice provides us with a set of carefully elaborated first principles for achieving environmental justice.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A crucial review concerning the 'fit'of recognised approaches in political theory to emerging discourse relating to what he terms 'atmospheric justice'...provocative and perceptive, and environmental lawyers (increasingly alive to the need to engage with ecological influences within other disciplines) can find there much that within their own discipline is also deserving of fuller reflection and response."—Journal of Environmental Law

"Just as human societies enter the two to three year period in which the definitive decisions will be made about climate change, Vanderheiden has provided a sophisticated model of the underlying issues of justice, appealingly combining a forward-looking allocation of emissions and a backward-looking allocation of adaptation costs."—Henry Shue, Senior Research Fellow at Merton College and Professor of Politics and International Relations, Oxford University

"Vanderheiden has made an original, innovative and important contribution to the growing literature on climate change, environmental policy, and theories of distributive and remedial justice. Atmospheric Justice is a veritable model of how to combine policy analysis with political theory."—Terence Ball, Professor of Political Science, Arizona State University

"Is justice theory equipped to deal with the special challenges that climate change represents? Steve Vanderheiden offers a precise accounting of the liberal's normative resources and develops his own richly textured version of distributive justice, grounded—vitally and unusually—in a persuasive theory of responsibility."—Andrew Dobson, Professor of Politics, Keele University

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195334609
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 4/16/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Vanderheiden is Assistant Professor of Political Science and Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder, where he specializes in normative political theory and environmental politics.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction ix

1 The Politics of Climate Change Mitigation 3

2 Climate Change, Fairness, and Equity 45

3 Climate Change and International Justice 81

4 Climate Change and Intergenerational Justice 111

5 Moral Responsibility and Greenhouse Gas Emissions 143

6 Knowledge, Beliefs, and Responsibility 181

7 Equity, Responsibility, and Climate Change Mitigation 221

Notes 259

Bibliography 275

Index 281

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)