Ethical Adaptation to Climate Change: Human Virtues of the Future
Jeremy Bendik-Keymer is Elmer G. Beamer-Hubert H. Schneider Professor in Ethics and Associate Professor of Philosophy at Case Western Reserve University. He is the author of The Ecological Life: Discovering Citizenship and a Sense of Humanity.
An analytically precise and theoretically probing exploration of the challenge to our values and virtues posed by climate change.
Predictions about global climate change have produced both stark scenarios of environmental catastrophe and purportedly pragmatic ideas about adaptation. This book takes a different perspective, exploring the idea that the challenge of adapting to global climate change is fundamentally an ethical one, that it is not simply a matter of adapting our infrastructures and economies to mitigate damage but rather of adapting ourselves to realities of a new global climate. The challenge is to restore our conception of humanity—to understand human flourishing in new ways—in an age in which humanity shapes the basic conditions of the global environment. In the face of what we have unintentionally done to Earth's ecology, who shall we become?
The contributors examine ways that new realities will require us to revisit and adjust the practice of ecological restoration; the place of ecology in our conception of justice; the form and substance of traditional virtues and vices; and the organizations, scale, and underlying metaphors of important institutions. Topics discussed include historical fidelity in ecological restoration; the application of capability theory to ecology; the questionable ethics of geoengineering; and the cognitive transformation required if we are to “think like a planet.”
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