Ethics and Global Climate Change

To complete your seventh and final essay, please write a three- to five-page (900- 1,500 words) response to the following question:

In "Ethics and Global Climate Change" (pp. 362-386), Stephen Gardiner argues that the richer nations should pay most of the costs for addressing global warming. What are Gardiner's strongest reasons for believing this? Do you find his rationales singly or collectively persuasive? If so, please explain exactly why. If not, please explain exactly why not.

Please ensure that your essay addresses each component of the assigned question you select and that your answer is well- organized, uses excellent, college-level prose, and makes judicious use of textual evidence.

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The stance that richer nations should pay most of the costs of addressing global warming is much more complex than may be apparent at first blush. And the issue isn’t just about who should pay and how much (though, of course, it is central); implied in the driving question is whether or not acting at all is justified (should someone pay? should anything be done?); also, what exactly does (or could or should) ‘costs’ represent?; and, thus, what does ‘addressing gobal warming’ actually entail. Stephen Gardiner, in a paper that perhaps should be regarded as a tour de force for environmental and social action and that should be required reading in schools everywhere, steps—clearly and precisely, if necessarily quickly—through each of these elements of, arguably, the greatest ethical challenge of our time and for generations to come.

Whether to Act
The first element to consider is the antecedent, fundamental question of whether acting—in some particular way—and thus taking on the attendant costs is justified and warranted....
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