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Managing climate change: A view from deep ecology
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2835-919X
2015 (English)In: Ethics and the Environment, ISSN 1085-6633, E-ISSN 1535-5306, Vol. 20, no 1, 23-44 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Despite the awareness that climate change is an increasingly urgent issue to manage, little is being done to adequately achieve mitigation targets and ambitions. It has been suggested that this is due to ill-equipped normative frameworks and that common concepts, such as responsibility, harm, and justice, collapse when applied to climate change. One perspective has however been missing from this debate – the deep ecological perspective. The paper will investigate the deep ecological view and will argue that it can provide a valuable contribution to normative issues pertaining to climate change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 20, no 1, 23-44 p.
National Category
Philosophy
Research subject
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-157833DOI: 10.2979/ethicsenviro.20.1.23OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-157833DiVA: diva2:772409
Note

QC 20150618

Available from: 2014-12-16 Created: 2014-12-16 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Cautiously utopian goals: Philosophical analyses of climate change objectives and sustainability targets
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Cautiously utopian goals: Philosophical analyses of climate change objectives and sustainability targets
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this thesis, the framework within which long-term goals are set and subsequently achieved or approached is analyzed. Sustainable development and climate change are areas in which goals have tobe set despite uncertainties. The analysis is divided into the normative motivations for setting such goals, what forms of goals could be set given the empirical and normative uncertainties, and how tomanage doubts regarding achievability or values after a goal has been set.

Paper I discusses a set of questions that moral theories intended to guide goal-setting should respond to. It is often claimed that existent normative theories provide only modest guidance regarding climate change, and consequently have to be revised or supplemented. Two such suggested revisions or supplements are analyzed in order to determine whether they provide such guidance.

Paper II applies the deep ecological framework to survey the extent to which it can be utilized to discuss issues concerning the management of climate change. It is suggested that the deep ecological framework can provide guidance by establishing a normative framework and an analysis of how the overarching values and principles can be specified to be relevant for actions.

Paper III is focused on normative political theory, and explicates the two dimensions of empirical and normative uncertainty. By applying recent discussions in normative political theory on ideal/non-ideal theory, political realism, and the relation between normative demands and empirical constraints,strategies for managing the proposed goals are suggested.

Paper IV suggests a form of goal that incorporates uncertainties. Cautious utopias allow greater uncertainty than realistic goals (goals that are known to be achievable or approachable, and desirable),but not to the same extent as utopian goals (goals wherein it is highly uncertain whether the goal can actually be achieved). Such goals have a performance-enhancing function. A definition and quality criteria for such goals are proposed.

Paper V considers whether a goal that is becoming all the more unlikely to be achievable should be reconsidered. The paper focuses on the two degrees Celsius target, and asks whether it could still be a sensible goal to aspire to. By applying the principle that ‘ought’ implies ‘can’, the role of such obligations is investigated.

Paper VI surveys how to treat circumstances in which an already set goal should be reconsidered and possibly revised, and what would evoke doubt in the belief upon which those goals have been set.Two situations are analyzed: (i) a problematic or surprising event occurs, upsetting confidence in one’s relevant beliefs, or (ii) respectable but dissenting views are voiced concerning one’s means and/or values. It is suggested that the validity of doubt has to be considered, in addition to the level in a goal-means hierarchy towards which doubt is raised.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. 41 p.
Series
Theses in philosophy from the Royal Institute of Technology, ISSN 1650-8831
Keyword
Sustainability; climate change; environmental philosophy; climate ethics; goals
National Category
Philosophy
Research subject
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-176856 (URN)978-91-7595-744-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-01-07, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20151204

Available from: 2015-12-04 Created: 2015-11-10 Last updated: 2016-04-20Bibliographically approved

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