Earthly Goods: Environmental Change and Social Justice / Edition 1

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Overview

Global environmental change raises profound moral issues with which society has only begun to grapple. What does fairness mean in dividing responsibilities for problems of global warming between rich and poor nations? Does the environment itself have moral standing and, if so, how should its conflicts with the interests of people who depend on the land for their livelihood be resolved? How can the interests of the poor, of indigenous peoples, and of future generations be properly accommodated in a political discourse about environmental policy which is dominated by industrialized states? This book extends the debate both within and across disciplines, engaging philosophers, geographers, political scientists, economists, sociologists, and environmental activists from four continents. The essays address the role of science in global change and argue that western science does not provide morally disinterested solutions to environmental problems. They discuss the role of state and substate actors in the international politics of the environment, and then use accounts of actual negotiations to argue for the centrality of social justice in reaching desirable and equitable agreements. They conclude that a framework for social justice under conditions of global environmental change must include community values and provide for participatory structures to arbitrate among competing interests.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book has many strengths. Many of the essays are linked directly to current controversies. . . . The articles have extensive footnotes and provide a wide range of pointers to further discussion. . . . To those teaching courses in environmental ethics, humans, and global change or science and society, or even to those who care about these matters on a strictly personal level, the value of the book is substantial. The reality that many scientists and others face is a messy hodgepodge of patently obvious social and ecological disasters, constraints on scientific certainty, and distant and intractable political institutions. . . . Scientists concerned with these matters will find this book rewarding. . . . Preserving the authority of science seems to require the separation of 'ought' from 'is,' even though our perceptions of the two are closely linked. This book can help provide a framework within which a more explicit and effective synthesis can be made, and within which scientists and others can act with integrity in their scientific, public, and personal capacities."—Quarterly Review of Biology

"Offers valuable insight into the questions of social justice (and injustice) and its various dimensions in the context of environmental change. It is thoughtful as well as thought-provoking. Anyone who is interested in environmental issues stands to benefit from Earthly Goods."—International Journal of World Peace

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801483622
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.91 (w) x 8.89 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Table of Contents

Contributors
Preface
Introduction: Framing the Debate 1
1 Environmental Change and the Varieties of Justice 9
2 Concepts of Community and Social Justice 30
3 Inherent Value and Moral Standing in Environmental Change 52
4 Societies in Space and Place 75
5 The Normative Structure of International Society 96
6 Impoverishment and the National State 122
7 Social Movements, Ecology, and Justice 154
8 Science and Norms in Global Environmental Regimes 173
9 Campaigning and Critique: Public-Interest Groups and Environmental Change 198
10 Breathing Room: Negotiations on Climate Change 221
Conclusion: Liberalism Is Not Enough 245
Index 257
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