Director, Environmental Science Program
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Whitewater Room, Idaho Commons
Sponsored by the UI Research Office,
the College of Graduate Studies, and the University Honors Program
Abstract: While the reality of anthropogenic climate change continues to be a topic of public debate, action is urgently needed if we are to avoid profoundly negative effects of climate change on the wellbeing of current and future generations. Ethical, economic, and legal aspects of climate change are some of the important determinants of policy as we attempt to deal with complex aspects of mitigation and adaptation. Although science is an appropriate starting point for developing effective policy, it does not determine normative choices. I will explore ethical issues as they pertain to the communication and use of science by policy makers. I will develop a framework for understanding how ethics can guide our understanding of normative issues related to climate change. Economic assessment of damages and risk management are central to this discussion.