The Dangers of Climate Change as an Ethical Challenge

Josie Appleton on Spiked Online explains why Climate Change (and all other “ecological” issues) should not be treated as ethical challenges:

Let us bin the moral fable of climate change

[…] My main concern with eco-ethics is that it allows us to stop thinking about the meaning and point to life. It is like a layer of scaffolding built across society, which allows every individual, and every institution, to avoid the questions that they find hard to answer. Eco-ethics allows us to avoid the question of human purpose, by directing all our actions towards the clouds.

None of this is an inevitable response to environmental emergency. […] At present we flee from uncertainty, and seek eco-handbooks for living. But there is another option: to grasp this situation as an opportunity. Indeed, in the course of history, it is often the periods of flux and uncertainty that have been the most productive. These are periods where things are rethought from scratch, presumptions questioned, and new schools of thought are born and new ways of living invented.

And that, I guess, is our choice: between a future of managing climactic stability, or the messy, tumultuous business of building our lives on their own foundations.

Wise AGWers (those that aren’t simply looking for an excuse to rebuild society according to their pet social theories) should really support the new, pragmatic stance of Jeffrey D Sachs.