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Summary for Gardiner.docx

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHI2394
Professor
Jon Miller
Semester
Fall

Description
Gardiner Ethics and Global Climate ChangeSummaryThe article tries to explain climate change in terms of it being as much a moral quandary as an economic and scientific problem Therefore it should be viewed as a significant ethical problem To fully understand the dimensions of the problem one must understand the scientific underpinnings and economic consequences of climate change A multidisciplinary approach is necessary to climate change is necessary because it takes into account the uncertainty of some of the facts but does not dismiss these facts for their lack of either clarity or certainty Global warming is caused by a change in the carbon monoxide and methane levels resulting in the retention of energy and heat which results in climate change Because the climatic record is a relatively modern phenomenon it is difficult to extrapolate long term trends However this difficulty does not mean than an attempt should not be made to do so Scientists should make an effort to research climates that existed on this earth millions of years ago because it would aid in understanding current issues that exist in our climate and possibly allow for a better understanding to go about tackling these problems Furthermore the article raises concern that climate change may not be a steady linear phenomena but may be marked by abrupt changes caused by natural phenomena such as the sudden collapse of ice fields and changes in the pattern of ocean circulation Such extreme and precipitant changes have clearly happened in the past ie a change in ocean circulation patterns happening 12500 years ago as cited in the article The article cites skeptics who although they acknowledge climatic change they either dismiss or minimize the human involvement in such changes attributing them solely to natural phenomena The article critiques these critics and concludes that while natural causes are important man made causes cannot be simply dismissed and must be given a major ideological roleCritiqueWestern civilization is overly developed and highly industrialized and it is of the utmost importance that developed countries reduce emissions Additionally developing countries are put at a disadvantage because as they catch up their ability to emit as many chemicals into the atmosphere from factories and daily living is limited That is not to say that they should be allowed to pollute the earth as western civilizations have done for years but if developed nations lessen their emissions developing countries may be allowed to increase theirsGardiner emphasizes that much of climate change should be looked at from an ethical perspective But he also goes on to present arguments for why climate change can take on an economic and scientific approach Additionally he states that it is plausible than man cannot be at fault for all climate change that has occurred I fully support the different perspectives that can be taken in an effort to explain climate change but I disagree with Gardiner in terms of who is at fault There is no denying that much of the natural phenomena that have occurred has caused
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