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How Much Risk Ought We to Take? Exploring the Possibilities of Risk-Sensitive Consequentialism in the Context of Climate Engineering

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When it comes to assessing the deontic status of acts and policies in the context of risk and uncertainty, moral theories are often at a loss. In this paper we hope to show that employing a multi-dimensional consequentialist framework provides ethical guidance for decision-making in complex situations. The paper starts by briefly rehearsing consequentialist responses to the issue of risk, as well as their shortcomings. We then go on to present our own proposal based on three dimensions: wellbeing, fairness and probability. In the last section we apply our approach to a comparison of different climate policy options, including stratospheric solar-radiation management.
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Keywords: Climate engineering; climate policy; consequentialism; fairness; risk

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 February 2016

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 a Journal Impact Factor (2017) of 1.852. 5 Year Impact Factor: 1.8.
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