CREDIT: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/arrqh/4209387142/" target="blank">Arrqh</a> (<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/deed.en">CC</a>).
CREDIT: Arrqh (CC).

Garrett Cullity on Climate Change

Jul 18, 2012

Since there is very little any given individual can do to address climate change, there is a problem drawing a line from collective responsibility to individual responsibility. Fortunately, philosopher Garrett Cullity has a solution for morally motivating individuals.

How do we assign moral responsibility for climate change? We can all probably agree that as a country, the United States is responsible to some extent. After all, it emits a lot of carbon, has the ability to pay for solutions, and knows it should be doing something about it.

But what about individual American citizens? Climate change is a collective phenomenon. It's going to happen—or not—regardless of what any particular person does. Individuals may not want to emit carbon, but they don't have much choice about their participation in the overall system.

Our guest today, Garrett Cullity, sees a paradox here. Although it's easy to trace the empirical relationship between individual carbon emissions and systemic climate change, he thinks it's not so easy to track the moral relationship between individual and collective responsibility for climate change.

You may also like

NOV 30, 2022 Article

Record Numbers Join Global Ethics Day 2022

In the face of extraordinary challenges such as accelerating climate change, rising nationalism, and war in Europe, organizations and individuals across 67 countries chose to take ...

NOV 16, 2022 Podcast

Personality and Power: Builders and Destroyers of Modern Europe, with Ian Kershaw

Throughout the 20th century, European leaders from Stalin to Mussolini, from Gorbachev to Thatcher, and more, have shifted global narratives by sheer force of will. ...

NOV 14, 2022 Podcast

C2GTalk: What are the challenges facing international governance of solar radiation modification? with Marcos Regis da Silva

The fragmentation of international environmental governance creates challenges for states looking to create governance for solar radiation modification (SRM), says Dr. Marcos Regis da Silva, ...