PHIL 224, Week 8
- Nov. 22, Thomas Homer-Dixon, Climate Change
Exam 2 is Nov. 3, in class.
Structure: same as exam 1, 4 short answers and short essay. Only weeks 5-8 are covered.
Review questions are available at the end of the lecture notes, including Jim Jordan's.
How to do well:
- Come to class and pay attention.
- Do not use laptops or other electronics, for these reasons.
- Read the text carefully and critically.
- Prepare detailed answers to review questions (note updates to review questions for weeks 5 and 6).
International Environmental Justice (Peter Penz)
Canada benefits from exports of asbestos, with health hazards to developing countries. CBC article.
Other issues of environmental justice: pollution, fresh water, food, climate change.
- Distributive justice concerns the allocation of the benefits and burdens of economic activity. Stanford Encyclopedia article.
- Environmental justice: benefits and burdens with respect to the environment.
- Harm principle: harming others is wrong and must be compensated. Self-determination, non-interference.
- Sharing principle: benefits and burdens should be shared equally.
- Compare Cragg and Schwartz from week 6: Principle: The costs of resource development should be born by those who will reap its benefits.
- Tension: libertarian versus egalitarian values. Intermediate: utilitarian and difference principle.
- Needs principle: people in all countries should have vital needs satisfied.
Are countries morally responsible for their actions, or just the people who run them?
Countries have actions that impact other countries, e.g. pollution, trade, .
Question: where does property come from? Rights to acquisition and transfer?
Some countries may benefit from global warming, e.g. Canada.
But poor countries will suffer (from CNN).
- One-sixth of the world's population will face water shortages because of retreating glaciers (World Development Movement)
- 1 billion of the poorest people on Earth will lose their livelihoods to desertification (UNEP)
- More than 200 million environmental refugees will be created by 2050, as a direct result of rising sea levels, erosion and agricultural damage (World Development Movement)
- Around 17 million Bangladeshis could find themselves without homes by 2030 due to flooding, cyclones and tornadoes (Oxfam)
- More than 60 million more Africans will be exposed to Malaria if temperatures rise by 2 degrees Celsius (the Independent)
- 182 million sub-Saharan Africans could die of disease "directly attributable" to climate change by the end of the century (ChristianAid)
- In Asia, the homes of 94 million people could be flooded by the end of the century (UK Department for International Development)
Key dispute (Kyoto, Cophenhagen): Which countries should limit carbon emissions?
How do the harm, sharing, and needs principles apply to global warming?
Arguments Against Equal Sharing of Resources
- Land has been been legitimately acquired and transferred.
- Some countries have depleted their resources.
- Well-being requires security of tenure.
Review Questions for Week 8
- According to Penz, what are the two main principles of international environmental justice? Describe how each would apply to a current dispute such as asbestos or climate change.
- What are the three arguments that Penz considers against sharing environmental resources and what are his responses?
- Essay: From the ethical perspectives of consequences and rights, should countries be required to share their environental benefits and burdens?
- statement of at least two alternatives
- consequences pro and con, and evaluation
- rights and duties, pro and con, and evaluation
- overall evaluation.
This page updated Oct. 31, 2011