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Morality and Climate Change: Is Leaving your TV on Standby a Risky Behaviour?

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There is a growing literature which examines the ways in which individualised responsibilisation of 'risky behaviours' also entails moralisation. In UK discourses about climate change, certain individualised behaviours (e.g. leaving appliances on standby) are designated as responsible and/or good and correspondingly as irresponsible and/or bad. In this context, the decision to engage or not engage in these types of behaviour can be seen as becoming increasingly moralised. Drawing on focus group discussions with members of the British lay public (participant n96), this paper brings together public(s) (re)production of and negotiated responses to the moral undertones of this aspect of climate change discourse with theories of risk, morality and responsibility to develop important insights for conceptualising climate change mitigation.

Keywords: ethics; governance; public perceptions; responsibility; risk

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 2010

More about this publication?
  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has an impact factor (2014) of 1.056.
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