An Ethical Framework for Analyzing Global Warming

Donald A. Brown

Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection

Thursday, November 10, 2005 - 1:15pm to 2:15pm

Theater, St. Paul Student Center

The problem of human-induced climate change raises profound ethical questions because climate change policy will determine which plants, animals, and ecosystems will survive and whether nations will support a just international order. Yet there is a curious lack of ethical reflection on a host of important questions raised by climate change despite a growing scientific and economic literature on this problem. After identifying the major ethical questions raised by climate change policymaking, Mr. Brown explained why ethical reflection on climate change policy options urgently needs to be integrated into the scientific and economic matters that are currently framing climate change debate. Mr. Brown also examined whether current approaches to climate change policy are ethically justified. The presentation concluded with Mr. Brown's suggestions on how to increase awareness about the ethical dimensions of climate change issues.


November 10, 2005