•  850
    Climate Justice and Temporally Remote Emissions
    Social Theory and Practice 40 (2): 281-303. 2014.
    Many suggest that we should look backward and measure the differences among various parties' past emissions of greenhouse gases to allocate moral responsibility to remedy climate change. Such backward-looking approaches face two key objections: that previous emitters were unaware of the consequences of their actions, and that the emitters who should be held responsible have disappeared. I assess several arguments that try to counter these objections: the argument from strict liability, arguments…Read more
  •  279
    What’s Wrong with Joyguzzling?
    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (1): 169-186. 2018.
    Our thesis is that there is no moral requirement to refrain from emitting reasonable amounts of greenhouse gases solely in order to enjoy oneself. Joyriding in a gas guzzler provides our paradigm example. We first distinguish this claim that there is no moral requirement to refrain from joyguzzling from other more radical claims. We then review several different proposed objections to our view. These include: the claim that joyguzzling exemplifies a vice, causes or contributes to harm, has negat…Read more
  •  273
    Climate Change as a Three-Part Ethical Problem: A Response to Jamieson and Gardiner
    Science and Engineering Ethics 20 (4): 1129-1148. 2014.
    Dale Jamieson has claimed that conventional human-directed ethical concepts are an inadequate means for accurately understanding our duty to respond to climate change. Furthermore, he suggests that a responsibility to respect nature can instead provide the appropriate framework with which to understand such a duty. Stephen Gardiner has responded by claiming that climate change is a clear case of ethical responsibility, but the failure of institutions to respond to it creates a (not unprecedented…Read more
  •  29
    Many people argue that we should practice conscientious consumption. Faced with goods from gravely flawed production processes, such as wood from clear-cut rainforests or electronics containing conflict minerals, they argue that we should enact personal policies to routinely shun tainted goods and select pure goods. However, consumers typically should be relatively uncertain about which flaws in global supply chains are grave and the connection of purchases to those grave flaws. The threat of si…Read more
  •  9
    One of the missing elements in the Paris Agreement is a formal mechanism by which reputational effects on countries can be generated and amplified, a mechanism analogous to, for example, the Universal Periodic Review in the international human rights legal regime. While the Paris Agreement provides a basic expectation on countries to submit increasingly ambitious NDCs every five years, there is no forum in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) through which the ambi…Read more
  •  4
    Innovation, Deep Decarbonization and Ethics
    Ethics, Policy and Environment 25 (3): 375-384. 2022.
    Deep decarbonization – slashing global greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero – now dominates global climate policy. Two recent books assess feasible routes to achieve deep decarbonization. Bill Gates’ How to Avoid a Climate Disaster explains in depth why deep decarbonization requires significant innovations in tech, and Danny Cullenward and David Victor’s Making Climate Policy Work emphasizes the importance of policy innovation (beyond carbon pricing) for driving clean tech breakthroughs. In this…Read more