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How Not to Save the Planet

Brooks, Thom

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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.


Brooks, T. (2016). How Not to Save the Planet. Ethics, Policy & Environment, 19(2), 119-135.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 18, 2015
Online Publication Date Jun 10, 2016
Publication Date Jun 10, 2016
Deposit Date Jun 19, 2015
Publicly Available Date Jun 22, 2015
Journal Ethics, Policy & Environment
Print ISSN 2155-0085
Electronic ISSN 2155-0093
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 2
Pages 119-135
Keywords Adaptation, Catastrophe, Climate change, Conservationism, Polluter Pays Principle, Ecological footprint.


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