Philosopher and writer Nigel Warburton interviewed James Garvey about his new book The Ethics of Climate Change: Right and Wrong in a Warming World. An excerpt from the interview:
Nigel: Why did you write this book? What is its main message?
James: I wrote the book to help people into thinking about the ethical dimension of reflection on climate change. There’s a great deal written concerning action on climate change, but often it’s from a scientific or economic or political point of view. All of that matters, but climate change presents us with a host of moral problems. Getting those in plain sight is part of the point of the book. What we do about our changing planet depends a lot on what we value, on what we think is morally right.
Nigel: Despite the bleak factual picture you paint in your first chapter, you end the book on an optimistic note. Isn't this inconsistent?
James: There is a lot of unnecessary suffering ahead if we fail to take action now. I’m not sure that governments and businesses will do what’s right, but I surprise myself sometimes with the thought that the rest of us will. According to a BBC World Service poll of 22,000 people in 21 countries, large majorities of people all over the world believe that human activity causes climate change and that strong action must be taken, sooner rather than later. Human beings eventually do the right thing, and that gives me a little hope. There’s nothing inconsistent in worrying about our future, all the while hoping that we do the right thing in the time we still have.
Link: James Garvey Interviewed on the Ethics of Climate Change (virtualphilosopher.org, Nigel Warburton's blog).
I really like that last sentence.
James Garvey writes at the Philosopher's Magazine's blog and has a short post about his book there: New Book: The Ethics of Climate Change.