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'Ethical Adaptation to Climate Change' envisions the good life in a harsher world
Date:5/3/2012

Think like a planetand reorganize society to reflect it, says Case Western Reserve University's environmental ethicist Jeremy Bendik-Keymer. That's a new way of thinking about reversing the tide of climate change.

"Don't obsess over your individual actions: counting carbon emissions, changing light bulbs or even developing new technologies for personal use. The only international cure-all for climate change is societal, born of civic protest against the injustice we are visiting on future children," Bendik-Keymer says.

That's also the message from Ethical Adaptation to Climate Change: Human Virtues of the Future's editors Bendik-Keymer and Allen Thompson from Oregon State University.

Thompson and Bendik-Keymer met in Colorado in 2004 through Thompson's dissertation advisor at University of Washington, William Talbott. When the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on climate change appeared, both became anxious about the predictions and asked what they could do as philosophy professors to contribute to society on the issue.

The result was a conference, headlined by Martha Nussbaum in 2008, and it became the idea for their volume. Internationally respected environmental political theorist Andrew Dobson calls the book one of the "most original" works on climate change to appear in a while.

"The standard definition of adaptation is about coping to protect our business as usual model of development. We take that a step further and think adaptation requires ethics a new frame for development. We should change our form of life to assume responsibility keyed to a planetary scale," said Bendik-Keymer, the Elmer G. Beimer-Hubert H. Schneider Professor in Ethics at Case Western Reserve.

The volume, aimed at both theorists and practitioners working on the emerging international architecture of climate regulation and climate philosophy, starts at the global level.

Ethical Adaptation to
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Contact: Susan Griffith
susan.griffith@case.edu
216-368-1004
Case Western Reserve University
Source:Eurekalert

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