Third, at the heart of living a flourishing or "good" life requires humans to have character. The center of character is responsibility for our effects on the climate system as these affect future generations, the global poor and other species. Classic vices such as greed must be re-conceptualized at the global and intergenerational scales.
Worldwide governments must take responsibility for the climate and create a new Kyoto agreement that reflects justice in their grasp of human flourishing.
It's a new way of thinking. Reflecting on human history, no cultures have ever thought that they themselves ought to be responsible for the course of the sky. But we have to be now, since the course of the sky is within our power, Bendik-Keymer says.
"Talk about adaptation must take us beyond mere coping strategies to full human flourishing," he says and thus, the book's subtitle of "human virtues of the future."
Responsible and virtuous actions by individuals alone are no longer enough to divert climate change. "Only changes to the patterns in society can do it," Bendik-Keymer says. This change calls for corporate virtues and responses by communities through collective engagement, or the mass of us working together to change the system at the global level.
"There is no hail Mary pass at the end of the day," Bendik-Keymer says, "only sustained, civic engagement by people around the world to create a society that thinks like a planet."
|Contact: Susan Griffith|
Case Western Reserve University