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How not to save the planet.

Brooks, Thom (2016) 'How not to save the planet.', Ethics, policy and environment., 19 (2). pp. 119-135.


Climate change presents us with perhaps the most pressing challenge today. But is it a problem we can solve? This article argues that existing conservationist and adaptation approaches fail to satisfy their objectives. A second issue that these approaches disagree about how best to end climate change, but accept that it is a problem that can be solved. I believe this view is mistaken: a future environmental catastrophe is an event we might at best postpone, but not avoid. This raises new ethical questions for climate change: what are the moral implications of a future climatic catastrophe that might be delayed at best? What practical consequences might these implications yield? This article argues most political philosophers have misunderstood the kind of problem that climate change presents and the daunting challenges we face.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Adaptation, Catastrophe, Climate change, Conservationism, Polluter Pays Principle, Ecological footprint.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Ethics, Policy and Environment on 10 Jun 2016, available online at:
Date accepted:18 June 2015
Date deposited:22 June 2015
Date of first online publication:10 June 2016
Date first made open access:10 December 2017

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