Reason in a Dark Time: Why the Struggle Against Climate Change Failed -- and What It Means for Our Future

Reason in a Dark Time: Why the Struggle Against Climate Change Failed -- and What It Means for Our Future

by Dale Jamieson

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Overview

From the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Conference there was a concerted international effort to stop climate change. Yet greenhouse gas emissions increased, atmospheric concentrations grew, and global warming became an observable fact of life.

In this book, philosopher Dale Jamieson explains what climate change is, why we have failed to stop it, and why it still matters what we do. Centered in philosophy, the volume also treats the scientific, historical, economic, and political dimensions of climate change. Our failure to prevent or even to respond significantly to climate change, Jamieson argues, reflects the impoverishment of our systems of practical reason, the paralysis of our politics, and the limits of our cognitive and affective capacities. The climate change that is underway is remaking the world in such a way that familiar comforts, places, and ways of life will disappear in years or decades rather than centuries.

Climate change also threatens our sense of meaning, since it is difficult to believe that our individual actions matter. The challenges that climate change presents go beyond the resources of common sense morality — it can be hard to view such everyday acts as driving and flying as presenting moral problems. Yet there is much that we can do to slow climate change, to adapt to it and restore a sense of agency while living meaningful lives in a changing world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199337668
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 04/01/2014
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Dale Jamieson teaches Environmental Studies, Philosophy, and Law at New York University, and was formerly affiliated with the National Center for Atmospheric Research. He is the author of Ethics and the Environment: An Introduction, and Morality's Progress: Essays on Humans, Other Animals, and the Rest of Nature.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. The Nature of the Problem
2.1 The Development of Climate Science
2.2 Climate Change as a Public Issue
2.3 The Age of Climate Diplomacy
2.4 Concluding Remarks

3. Obstacles to Action
3.1 Scientific Ignorance
3.2 Politicizing Science
3.3 Facts and Values
3.4 The Science/Policy Interface
3.5 Organized Denial
3.6 Partisanship
3.7 Political Institutions
3.8 The Hardest Problem
3.9 Concluding Remarks

4. The Limits of Economics
4.1 Economics and Climate Change
4.2 The Stern Review and Its Critics
4.3 Discounting
4.4 Further Problems
4.5 State of the Discussion
4.6 Concluding Remarks

5. The Frontiers of Ethics
5.1 The Domain of Concern
5.2 Responsibility and Harm
5.3 Fault Liability
5.4 Human Rights and Domination
5.5 Differences That Matter
5.6 Revising Morality
5.7 Concluding Remarks

6. Living With Climate Change
6.1 Life in the Anthropocene
6.2 It Doesn't Matter What I Do
6.3 It's Not the Meat It's the Motion
6.4 Ethics for the Anthropocene
6.5 Respect For Nature
6.6 Global Justice
6.7 Concluding Remarks

7. Politics, Policy, and the Road Ahead
7.1 The Rectification of Names
7.2 Adaptation: The Neglected Option?
7.3 Why Abatement and Mitigation Still Matter
7.4 The Category Formerly Known as Geoengineering
7.5 The Way Forward
7.6 Concluding Remarks

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