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by rjp218 Apr 01, 2015
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Contributors: Mark Fisher
by khepler Apr 07, 2015
by SKeira Apr 15, 2015

US Signers Of US Climate Ethics Statement Statement Wanted

by SKeira Apr 15, 2015
A group of representatives from conservative and liberal business, financial, youth, labor, racial justice, civil rights, faith, and conservation organizations from across the nation have written a statement about the moral obligations of the United States to reduce the threat of climate change and are now looking for signatures in support of the statement.

Introduction.

A group of representatives from conservative and liberal business, financial, youth, labor, racial justice, civil rights, faith, and conservation organizations from across the nation have written a statement about the moral obligations of the United States to reduce the threat of climate change and are now looking for signatures in support of the statement.

The statement has been prepared in recognition of the fact that our nation has a moral obligation to address climate change in light of the fact that: (1) Climate change is a real, dangerous, and rapidly worsening problem with deep moral implications; (2) Yet U.S. has done little to reduce its contribution to the crises.

The statement asserts that the US has a duty to to prevent unjustifiable suffering and death among current and future generations in the U.S. and abroad. Furthermore, this obligation requires that the US acts significantly and rapidly to reduce our carbon pollution.

The "Statement of Our Nation's Moral Obligation to Address Climate Change" seeks to definitively make those points to elected officials, business, community, and civic leaders, and the public nationwide.

The committee is now looking for signatures.

If you want to know more about this effort or if you are willing to add your name go to

climateethicscampaign.org

II. Statement

STATEMENT OF OUR NATION'S MORAL OBLIGATION
TO ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE

We, the undersigned current and former elected officials and representatives from the business, labor, youth, national security, financial, conservation, racial justice, civil rights, and faith communities of the United States, recognize that climate change is a real, dangerous, and rapidly worsening problem with deep moral implications.

Although reducing carbon pollution will have costs, it will also produce incalculable benefits. Our response must therefore be driven not solely by near-term economic or national self-interest. We must also acknowledge and act on our long-standing moral obligation to protect current and future generations from suffering and death, to honor principles of justice and equity, and to protect the great Earth systems on which the wellbeing of all life, including ours, depends.

We call on every citizen to act on these moral principles without delay. Individually, and collectively as a nation, we must rapidly reduce carbon pollution by significant levels, prepare for the consequences of an already warming planet, and insist on public policies that support these goals and create a just transition to a low-carbon economy. The risks of inaction are exceedingly high. The benefits of acting on these moral principles are even greater.

The Moral Obligation to Prevent Suffering and Protect Human Life

The most fundamental of our guiding moral principles is that it is wrong to unjustifiably cause human suffering or death. Climate change-related impacts are already harming and killing people here and abroad. Unless carbon pollution is rapidly reduced, the resulting natural disasters, floods, diseases, illnesses, water and food shortages, and environmental degradation, along with associated rising violence and social breakdown, will injure or kill millions more every year.

Climate change-induced suffering from food shortages and the dramatic spread of disease and illness will be especially significant. Millions of people worldwide will be affected. Suffering will also result from the job losses and disruptions to families and communities caused by the billions of dollars in direct and indirect annual costs of climate impacts, as well as from the escalating market volatility, supply chain disruptions, and other impacts businesses will experience.

Over the past century, the U.S. has been the world's largest overall contributor to climate change, generating about 30 percent of the total energy-related CO2 emissions that are destabilizing the climate. Today, we continue to produce far more emissions on an annual basis than any other nation except China. Even if the costs are high, we must avert one of the worst violation of human rights the world has ever seen by acknowledging our contribution to the climate crisis and significantly reducing our emissions.

Business dislocations and job losses are also likely as we reduce our carbon pollution. These impacts must not be unduly borne by any group. A 'just transition' is necessary that spreads the costs as well as the investments in solutions and the benefits of new approaches equitably, provides for workers and communities that are adversely affected by climate protection policies, assists whole industries to make the necessary shifts, and ensures that all Americans have a democratic voice in how those decisions are made.
The Moral Responsibility to Honor Principles of Justice and Equity

Those who suffer the most from climate change are not the same people who now benefit greatly from the overuse of fossil fuels and other natural resources. As a matter of justice and equity, we have a moral obligation to reduce our carbon pollution in order to prevent suffering and death among people who have contributed little to climate change but who are, at least initially, most impacted: those living in the Arctic; people in less developed, hotter regions of the world; low-income and working-class communities, communities of color, women as well as children in the U.S.; and future generations everywhere.

In addition, even as we reduce our emissions we must do our part to ensure that vulnerable populations and nations have the financial and technological capacity to prepare for and adapt to the consequences of a warming planet and grow clean energy economies.

The Moral Obligation to Honor and Protect the Processes that Make Life Possible

Because we have a moral obligation to protect human life and prevent suffering and injustice, and because Earth's gifts have intrinsic value, we have a responsibility to protect the ecosystems and organisms that provide the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, the materials we use to sustain life and prosperity, and the natural beauty that lifts our spirits.

Whether we believe that the Earth and its great abundance is a product of natural processes or, as millions of people nationwide believe, that the Earth is the gift of the Creator, or both, our obligations are fundamentally the same--we must be good stewards of what we have inherited. Humanity is not in command of creation, but merely part of it. To disrupt the climate that is the cornerstone of all life on Earth and to squander the extraordinary abundance of life, richness, and beauty of the planet is morally wrong.

We Already Have the Know-How and Tools

The people of our great nation have the spirit, knowledge, and tools required to reduce climate change. The greatest obstacle is lack of human will. History is watching us. Our legacy will be determined by what we do now and in the next few years.

We call on everyone in the U.S. to act on their moral principles now by rapidly and significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions in their homes, places of work and government.

We call on every citizen to actively prepare for the consequences of climate change.

Moreover, we urge every citizen to insist that their government adopt policies to foster emission reductions and prepare for climate change, and to provide sufficient resources to build the capacity of the most impacted people worldwide to do the same.

This is not just about avoiding harm. Acting on our moral principles will foster the growth of a sustainable economy that creates millions of good jobs in clean energy fields, supports healthy families, and builds vibrant communities. That, itself, makes this imperative.

The need for action is urgent, the possibilities enormous. Please join us in heeding this call.

To know more about this campaign or to sign go to climateethicscampaign.org.

By :

Donald A. Brown,
Associate Professor, Environmental Ethics, Science, and Law,
Penn State University.
dab57@psu.edu.

Universities And The Need To Address Global Climate Change Across Disciplines and Programs

by SKeira Apr 15, 2015
I have been living in Alaska the past few years, and in contrast to assumptions about faith in technology, some Inuit people tell me their foundations for government and education are based on traditional sets of relationships by which they have lived. Their fundamental belief is that the connections that individuals feel for each other and to their environment determine personal character and value to the community. Without using the word "sustainability," for Inuits this belief is the definition of "sustainability." Sustainability is a core value of Inuit life. Instead of having to be incorporated or infused into policies and programs, culturally embedded concepts of sustainability form a natural foundation from which all policies and practices are derived. This is an inversion of the usual approach to trying to incorporate sustainability in policies, laws, and practices of the Western world (IALEI 2009).

Preface: The following post by Dr. John Lemons argues that there is an extremely urgent need to systematically transform US higher education to create an informed citizenry about the scientific, social, political, policy, legal, cultural, and moral dimensions of climate change. ClimateEthics believes that US higher education is at least partly responsible for the failure of the United States to respond to its ethical obligations, duties, and responsibilities for climate change. The following post makes the case that "piecemeal" reform of higher education about climate change will not be sufficient and that comprehensive educational reform of higher-education is necessary.

Education is not about carrying buckets, but lighting fires- William Butler Yeats

I. Introduction

Some have argued that the lack of political resolve to tackle sustainability issues stems from resistance to assumptions that modern economic and technological thinking will solve society's problems (Basso 1996, Bowers 2003).

I have been living in Alaska the past few years, and in contrast to assumptions about faith in technology, some Inuit people tell me their foundations for government and education are based on traditional sets of relationships by which they have lived. Their fundamental belief is that the connections that individuals feel for each other and to their environment determine personal character and value to the community. Without using the word "sustainability," for Inuits this belief is the definition of "sustainability." Sustainability is a core value of Inuit life. Instead of having to be incorporated or infused into policies and programs, culturally embedded concepts of sustainability form a natural foundation from which all policies and practices are derived. This is an inversion of the usual approach to trying to incorporate sustainability in policies, laws, and practices of the Western world (IALEI 2009).

The problem of global climate change can be considered a subset of "sustainability." Universities need to urgently, if not radically, respond to the challenges of anthropogenic global climate change by focusing on the complicated intertwined aspects of the scientific, social, political, policy, legal, cultural, and moral dimensions necessary for an informed citizenry.

Following, I discuss three topics. The first reminds us of the quantifiable scientific urgency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The second concerns the evolution of environmental and sustainability programs because their evolution can inform us about prospects of emergent global climate change programs. The third topic focuses on prospects for change in universities, especially those of research universities, which, as I also note, have influenced the teaching missions of small colleges and universities. Part of my critique is based on the view that comprehensive responses by higher education include a return to liberal education and education about climate change for all students.

The year 2012 is the 40th anniversary of the Stockholm Declaration on the Human Environment (UNCHE 1972), when the concept of "sustainability" arguably first began to influence higher education and public policies. We have not yet achieved sustainability. Dernbach (2002) described the checkered history of sustainability as "...stumbling toward sustainability." Stumbling toward solutions of global climate change is not an option, or at least a wise one. Time is not on our side. How can we dislodge our universities from their lethargic responses to the kinds of problems we are discussing?

II.Global Climate Change Science: The Problem of Urgency

Scientific conclusions published after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's most recent report (IPCC 2007) indicate that not only are greenhouse gas emissions rising faster than IPCC's worst-case scenario but that observed impacts exceed those projected (Allison et al. 2009, Levin and Tirpak 2009, New et al. 2011).

Recent scientific studies conclude that in order to avoid serious and irreversible impacts there is an urgency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions up to 40 percent by 2020 or so compared to 1990 or 2000 levels (Hansen et al. 2008, Baer et al. 2009; Bates 2009; Kaufmann et al. 2009; Rockstr�m 2009). Several major scientific studies conclude that avoiding serious and irreversible consequences of global climate change is plausible, but only if urgent actions are undertaken by developed nations, which means that greenhouse gas emissions would have to peak prior to or not later than around 2020 and then decline at an annual rate of six percent or more, eventually reaching a level close to zero if equity between developed and developing nations is to be honored (Anderson and Bows 2008, Ramanathan and Feng 2008, Baer et al. 2009, WGBU 2009, den Elzen et al. 2010, New et al. 2011).

These kinds of studies add a quantified dimension that has been missing from prior discourse about sustainability-the importance of which should not be underestimated. For decades, scientists have quantified human appropriation of natural resources but have not put any numbers on when our use of resources will have to peak and then decline in order to avoid so-called "unsustainable" tipping points. By way of contrast, global climate change science is now quantifying that within a matter of a decade or so, we must drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by certain levels. Urgency beckons.

 

III. The History of Environmental and Sustainability Programs in Informing Emergent Programs in Global Climate Change

During the mid-1960s and early 1970s, development of environmental programs began to increase during the so-called "modern environmental movement" (see, e.g., Lemons 1995, Silveira 2001, Merchant 2007). In part, the modern movement stemmed from publication of popular books such as Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac (1949), Rachel Carson's Silent Spring (1962), and Paul Ehrlich's The Population Bomb (1968), to name a few, as well as from international conferences (UNESCO 1993, UNCHE 1972, Johnson 1993). Also contributing to the modern environmental movement were social changes in American culture: e.g., rising income levels that increased peoples' demands for recreational and other amenities from "nature;" increasing education levels that enhanced values associated with nature; various environmental "catastrophes;" environmental and social activists who pushed for the restructure of society and the formation of alternative lifestyles; and the passage of bipartisan environmental legislation. Lastly, interest also grew from coverage in the popular media about threats to environmental and human health well-being.

Higher education responded to the broad modern environmental movement with the development of environmental and, later sustainability programs (Jacobson and Robinson 1990, Orr 1992, Weis et al. 1992, Lemons 1995, Silveira 2001, Feinstein 2009, Vincent 2010).

In part, the focus on sustainability stemmed from a successive evolution of the "modern" environmental movement toward administrative and legislative remedies, increased strength of "grassroots" and citizen-based activism, and concerns about environmental justice, respectively (Lemons 1995, Silveira 2001, Dernbach 2002, Merchant 2007). Scientific studies documenting the human appropriation of natural resource capital called attention to whether and to what extent humans are depleting the natural resources on which we are dependent (Meadows et al. 1972, Vitousek et al. 1986, Daily and Ehrlich 1992, Goodland and Daly 1995, Meadows et al. 2004). The increased focus on sustainability also stemmed from international meetings and reports (UNCHE 1972, WCED 1987), Johnson 1993, Lemons and Brown 1995), and university consortia with expressed commitments to foster sustainability and mitigation of global climate (ULSF 1990, ACUPCC 2006, Rowe 2007, Feinstein 2009, IALEI 2009).

A recent study estimates the number of environmental and sustainability degree granting programs has more than doubled over the last two decades from around 500 in 1990 to over 1200 today, and further, that jobs in these fields between 2008-2018 are projected to increase at a rate of around 28 percent, which is faster than the average for all occupations (Vincent 2010).

So far, the above history of programs might be viewed positively as judged by the growth in numbers and projected increases in job opportunities (Feinstein 2009, Vincent 2010). Yet, a positive assessment about the efficacy of sustainability programs in general, and more specifically about global climate change programs, is problematic.

With respect to sustainability programs, which to repeat any program in global climate change should be a subset, it is difficult to judge the success of universities' initiatives in terms of enrollment, learning outcomes, altering attitudes and beliefs, or influencing environmental legislation (Bowers 2008, Feinstein 2009, May 2009). Elder (2008) examined the status of universities in developing and implementing environmental and sustainability programs. He noted that while some individual schools progress towards environmental and sustainability literacy without external funding support, most programs are piecemeal, meaning at best they consist of a series of extra-curricula events, seminars, an elective course, or in a lesser number of cases a required course. Infrequently programs consist of full stand-alone majors and only rarely of entire campus-wide curricula programs. While the early evolution of sustainability programs benefitted from a strong national environmental movement, there is no such movement in support of mitigation of global climate change.

According to Juckers (2002), Bowers (2008) and Elder (2008), the enrollment of students in environmental and sustainability programs is relatively low, and most courses focus more on scientific issues which these commentators suggest constrains wide-spread support for the programs. The social sciences and humanities, which one might think would have a keen interest in sustainability and global climate change, have been slow to focus on them. Vucetich and Nelson (2010) note that a constraining factor on the success of sustainability programs, both in terms of content and inclusion within universities, might be the lack of university hires focused on the ethical dimensions of sustainability.

Another problem is that despite the vast scientific knowledge about the existence of a serious and urgent global climate change problem, a recent search of ERIC's educational databases produced only about 70 peer-reviewed publications using "climate change" or "global warming" as search phrases. Most of the publications were not in research-oriented journals but rather in teacher practitioner journals focusing almost exclusively on aspects of teaching about global climate change in a scientific context, thereby not addressing the multitude of complicated but relevant non-science aspects. Further, it is too early to know the efficacy of university consortia such as the American College & University President's Climate Commitment to foster sustainability and GCC initiatives because most member universities have not yet had to submit detailed plans for what they intend to implement, and have not, in fact, implemented very much (ACUPCC 2006).

IV. Change in Universities

Should universities change to urgently respond to GCC, and if so, how can they do so?
Thirty years ago, Derek Bok (1982), a former president of Harvard College, reviewed various roles of universities and examined why some adopt particular goals and programs and others do not. Discussion addressed whether universities should: (a)be relatively cloistered from societal demands and problems and dedicate themselves to learning and research for their own sake, benefiting society only indirectly through advances in basic knowledge and the education of able students; (b)respond energetically to society's increased demands on career, graduate school, and professional preparation and training; or (c)set their own agendas for reform by deciding for themselves which programs to mount and projects to encourage in order to bring about needed social change. One of Bok's conclusions was that the domination of modern research universities in higher education is detrimental to addressing pressing societal matters and fostering greater emphases on liberal education.

Clark Kerr (2001), a former Chancellor of the University of California, identified the increasingly strong funding and other relationships between the United States government and universities that results in pressure on universities to focus on research and development central to maintaining strong technological and economic capacity. Kerr noted that one consequence of this quest is that in the modern research university the discovery and application of science, often for economic ends, diminishes intellectual or moral inquiry per se. According to George O'Brien (1998), a former president of the University of Rochester, many people in modern research universities implicitly or explicitly adopt the view that they have little or no moral task because their purpose is to teach science and not virtue, which is to say teach only "truth" derived from scientific verification so that it can be manipulated with technology for economic ends. James Freedman (Freedman 1996), a former president of the University of Iowa and Dartmouth College, is critical of what he believes is a dominant view that the purpose of the undergraduate curriculum is to focus on career and graduate school preparation, which, of course, limits exposure to areas outside of one's major.

These university presidents believe that universities have uncritically acquiesced to adopting curricula that represent the desires of powerful sectors within society; e.g., science, economics, business, and professional schools and neglected topics that could or ought be taught that deal with civic and moral issues. Although these presidents have focused on the role of modern research universities, they also recognize how such universities have influenced and thereby detracted from the purported emphasis on teaching at small colleges and universities�--a point not to be undervalued. In short, these presidents lament the decline of liberal education and implicitly or directly associate the decline with problems of sustainability and global climate change.

If anything, global climate change fundamentally is a moral issue and, given this, Bowen (2008), Michaels (2008), and Oreskes and Conway (2010) are strongly critical of the decades-long ways in which large corporations, as well as some government agencies, have knowingly seeded scientific doubt about the threats of global climate change and, in fact, have at times changed scientific conclusions to fit administrative policy decisions.

Speth (2008) makes explicit the failure of higher education to address the strong ties between capitalism and ever-increasing consumerism which, of course, increases the problems of global climate change. Vucetich and Nelson (2010) demonstrate how the lack of inclusion of ethics into sustainability programs, and by extension those with a focus on global climate change, is stifling progress. Nussbaum (2010) also lends her voice to how universities have neglected liberal and civic education and by doing so contribute to the root causes of problems such as global climate change. Interestingly, more than 20 years ago the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS 1990) concluded that scientific goals to solve society's problems are fostered by a greater emphasis on liberal education.

In their prescient book The Subversive Science: Essays Toward an Ecology of Man, Shepard and McKinley (1969) argued that a change in western perspective was necessary to address problems of environmental and human health caused by our failure to pay attention to ecological limits and the moral implications of our use of technology. They also wrote: "Where now there is man-centeredness, ecology...faces the task of renewing a balanced view." The essays in the book went on to say that much of ecology, if properly understood, is radical insofar as it is subversive to the powers that benefit from the status quo in society and that impose unjust harms on others.

Bowers (1997, 2008) and Orr (1992) are perhaps the most well-known critics of failures to include sustainability and global climate change into universities' programs. They understand ecology's subversive implications, as did Shepard and McKinley. Bowers and Orr also understand that it is fallacious to believe that required or elective courses here or there or even a degree program is sufficient for most students to understand the urgency and moral necessity of dealing with global climate change. Such minimal approaches cannot be effective when the overwhelming majority of the curriculum--which reflects the cultural mores of the larger society that is concerned about increasing the GDP through increasing consumerism--is so much more influential. This problem is, of course, related to an uncritical assumption of linear progress from scientific, technical, and economic power and innovations, which is to say there is insufficient concern about the harms to sustaining ecological and human communities resulting from faith in linear progress.

Parenthetically, I have used the term "liberal education" several times despite it being fraught with ambiguity. My operative definition is: "An education that helps persons be open-minded and free from dogma and preconceived ideology; conscious of and skeptical of their own beliefs and traditions; trained to think for themselves in a studied and mindful manner rather than defer to authority; understand the nested relationships between diverse individuals and human and ecological communities and the bridges that link their pasts, presents, and futures; recognize the value of multicultural diversity; have a focus on active and participatory citizenship; and are mindful about what needs to be conserved or changed, and why." Accordingly, liberal education should include all academic disciplines for all students.

The failure of universities to develop comprehensive global climate change programs might also stem from a lack of attention to responsibilities that come with the protection of academic freedom, which not only allows faculty to conduct their own teaching and research, but also entails the responsibility to enable all students through university-wide programs of study to acquire learning to make significant contributions to society (AACU 2006). Academic freedom therefore requires faculty to advocate for the inclusion of comprehensive global climate change programs. Surely, global climate is a huge societal problem. Further, if faculty members avoid taking action this implicitly or unwittingly represents a form of advocacy because it is tantamount to supporting continuation of the status quo that is responsible for global climate change.

V. Concluding Remarks

Why should universities deal with global climate change in a more wide-spread and comprehensive manner? The reason lies within university responsibilities to educate about important societal issues across all disciplines, including the benefits of liberal education for all students. Recent quantifiable scientific evidence concludes that mitigation of serious and irreversible consequences of global climate change are plausible but only if urgent action is taken within about a decade or so. Drawing on assessments about the efficacy of environmental and sustainability programs, it seems clear that "piecemeal" approaches to addressing the complicated root causes and possible solutions to global climate change will not work. Because of the pervasive influences that have caused global climate change, its solution needs to include all disciplines and programs.

In order to foster comprehensive education about global climate change, it will be necessary for educators and environmental scientists and managers, and high-level university administrators to advocate for university reform. One might not relish being involved in advocacy, but the stark choice is this: Either engage in advocacy or not. But if not, understand that this is a decision, intentional or unwitting, to support the status quo that is responsible for global climate change. Scientists or other educators who might be reticent to engage in advocacy because of fear that it might compromise real or perceived objectivity would be well advised to read Lemons (1987), Nelson and Vucetich (2009), and Moore and Nelson (2010) which dispel myths about the legitimacy of such reticence.

William Butler Yeats wrote: "Education is not about filling buckets, but lighting fires." If he was correct, there is precious little time left for universities to "light fires" and do what they can to mitigate global climate change.

VI. References

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ACUPCC, American College & University President's Climate Commitment (2006). c/o Second Nature, Boston, MA. http://www.presidentsclimatecommitment.org/. Accessed 28 Sep 2010

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Meadows DH, Meadows DL, Randers J, Behrens III WW (1972) Limits to Growth. Potomac Associates, New York, NY

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Michaels D (2008) Doubt is Their Product. Oxford University Press, Oxford, NY

Moore KD, Nelson MP (eds) (2010) Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril. Trinity University Press, San Antonio, TX

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New MG, Liverman M, Betts RA, Anderson KL, and West CC (eds) (2011) Four Degrees and Beyond: The Potential for a Global Iincrease of Four Degrees and Its Implications. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A 369:3-241 http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1934.toc. Accessed 4 Feb 2011

Nussbaum MC (2010) Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities. Princeton University Press, NJ

O'Brien GD (1998) All the Essential Half-truths About Higher Education. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL

Oreskes N, Conway EM (2010) Merchants of doubt: How a Handful of SOcientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. Bloomsbury Press, New York, NY

Orr D (1992) Ecological Literacy: Education and the Transition to a Postmodern World. State University of New York Press, Albany, NY

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By:

John Lemons
Department of Environmental Studies
University of New England
Biddeford, ME 04005
jlemons@une.edu

 

Undergraduates honored with Rock Ethics Institute 2017 Stand Up Award

by rjp218 May 17, 2017
The Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State recently celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the Stand Up Award by honoring Brian Anthony Davis, Hayly Hoch, and Alexis Scott. This award is presented to Penn State Undergraduate students who have demonstrated courage, fortitude, and ethical leadership by taking a stand for a person, a cause, or a belief.

2017 Penn State Stand Up student awardees, from left to right, Hayly Hoch, Alexis Scott and Brian Davis.Image: Heidi Lynne Photography

Penn State students 'Meet the challenge, Stand Up, and Make a Difference'


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State students Brian Davis, Hayly Hoch and Alexis Scott are being honored respectively for their work in social justice and equity; fostering a culture of sustainability through student farming, education and community-supported agriculture; and for advocacy for queer and transgender students of color while creating a climate of acceptance and inclusion at Penn State.

The Penn State Rock Ethics Institute created the Stand Up Award 10 years ago to honor Penn State undergraduates who, as ethical leaders, have the courage and fortitude to take an ethical stand for a person, cause or belief.  

“Over the past decade, the Stand Up Award has been vital in recognizing ethical leadership within the undergraduate community at Penn State,” said Michael D. Burroughs, associate director of the Rock Ethics Institute. “Across a wide range of actions and areas of life, our awardees demonstrate both the many possibilities for and the great impact of ethical leadership at and beyond our campuses.” 

Penn State student Brian Davis speaking at a campus rally he organized about the Orlando, Florida, nightclub shooting.

Brian Anthony Davis came to Penn State in 2014 excited about the future. He eagerly engaged in his first semester, but he struggled in college despite doing well academically in high school. Instead of giving up, he searched for learning resources at University Park that helped him succeed. At that point, most people would be satisfied. However, Davis didn’t want others to go through what he went through. He wanted to find a way to better prepare first-year students and those transferring to University Park.

At the beginning of the fall 2016 semester, Davis released “Penn State Treasure,” a booklet featuring a visual introduction to a variety of academic and other helpful resources at Penn State. The goal was to offer students a guide that outlined various resources and support networks available to help them succeed. Some of the most-used information in the booklet includes information about Counseling and Psychological Services, the LGBTQA Resource Center, and a section that shows a photo and contact information for each college’s multicultural director.

Davis’ desire to help others didn’t stop there. During the Flint, Michigan, water crisis Davis organized a trip from State College to Flint to deliver 5,000 bottles of water to families in need. He recruited fellow Penn State students to collect the water, load it in a U-Haul, and hand-delivered it to those in Flint.

“We have to hold ourselves accountable for the results that we want. In any instance of leadership, courage and strength are two important components that help one to take initiative,” said Davis. “Drawing upon these assets, after watching numerous videos of public outcry and disheartened residents, this was an exigent circumstance that called me to action. The ethical principle that guided my deliberation was a selfless desire to help others through altruism.”

Currently, there are plans for more trips to Flint. Penn State students from Philadelphia and Erie will be delivering bottles of water in the near future.

Penn State student Hayly Hoch on the Penn State Student Farm.mage: Gabrielle Mannino

After a whirlwind of a year, Hayly Hoch, co-director of the Penn State Student Farm Club, looks back with a sense of accomplishment. Early in her collegiate career, Hoch had a passion to teach the community about sustainable farming practices. This passion led her to become involved with developing the Sustainable Food Systems Program at Penn State. This program has three separate components: the creation of a food systems minor, the student farm, and the student farm club.

Hoch’s main focus has been the student farm club, which she co-directs with Nick Michalisin. The mission of this club is to bring together anyone who is interested in food systems, including, but not limited to, food insecurity, food waste, agricultural production and culinary skills.

"In pursuing sustainable livelihoods, we embody a standard of behavior that pays mind to human lives around the world, other living organisms and the lives of generations yet to come. This is a powerful undertone that drives my moral compass in my daily life,” Hoch said. “By creating a program that inspires others to think about and ask questions of sustainability, we are enabling Penn State students to embody ethical leadership in their everyday lives.”

The Student Farm Club not only works with students, but they also educate and engage with the larger community about sustainable food programs through lectures, workshops, farm tours, arts events and volunteer opportunities.

Future plans for the Student Farm Club include searching for a permanent site for the student-run farm, a larger facility with a kitchen to host culinary classes, and creating a deeper partnership with the local community.

Penn State student Alexis Scott, with the Queer & Transgender People of Color student group, during Pride Week.

A true leader is someone who inspires others, understands their own strengths and weaknesses, and believes in others. Alexis Scott has led the revived Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC) student group at Penn State for over a year and fits this definition of a true leader. In a short time, she was able to bring together a group of individuals who felt like they didn’t have a place at Penn State. With her leadership in QTPOC, she successfully built a community that provided support and meaningful connections.

Early in her Penn State career Scott attended the Northeast LGBT Conference where she first learned about Queer People of Color student organizations. Hoping to find something like this at Penn State, she reached out to the LGBTQA Student Resource Center and the Paul Robeson Cultural Center to learn that a similar group did exist at Penn State until 2014. Believing in the sense of community and support that this group could provide, she decided to revive it and officially re-launched the organization during the fall 2016 semester.

“QTPOC has established itself as a reliable resource within the community and a source of activism and advocacy for marginalized groups,” said Scott. “In October, we held our first open discussion in collaboration with other multicultural organizations on campus that we ironically titled ‘No Homo: A Discussion on Homophobia in Communities of Color.' This discussion allowed people to speak freely about their opinions and identify where they stemmed from. This provided an opportunity for participants to learn from and connect with one another.”

Throughout her final year at Penn State, Scott will work to build stronger connections between QTPOC, other student organizations, and departments within Penn State. She hopes this work will help with fundraising for future QTPOC plans and partnerships that will help foster this supportive community.

“This is a banner year for the Stand Up Award, which has now brought visibility and recognition to 30 remarkable leaders who have stood up to make a difference at Penn State and far beyond,” said Ted Toadvine, the Nancy Tuana Director of the Rock Ethics Institute. “Alexis, Brian and Hayly exemplify the courage and fortitude that our world so needs today, and as we celebrate their impressive accomplishments, we also honor a decade of amazing individuals who are now bringing their passion and dedication to the service of just causes and communities in need around the globe. The Rock Ethics Institute is honored to count these exceptional leaders among our Stand Up Award recipients, and we look forward to the ways that they will shape our shared future for the better.”

More information about the honorees and the Stand Up Award can be found at www.StandUpPSU.com.

The Rock Ethics Institute was established through a $5 million gift in 2001 from Doug and Julie Rock to the College of the Liberal Arts. The institute’s mission is to promote ethical awareness and inquiry across the University, and in the public and professional sectors, through a three-fold emphasis on teaching, research and outreach. Recently, the Rocks endowed the Nancy Tuana Directorship of the Rock Ethics Institute with an additional $5 million gift, which was part of a larger commitment they made to the College during ‘For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students.’


Undergraduates honored with Rock Ethics Institute 2016 Stand Up Award

by rjp218 Apr 20, 2016
Penn State students Alanna Kaiser, Nathan Larkin, and Jaden Rankin-Wahlers are being honored respectively for their work in social & environmental justice; organizing efforts to address climate change; and combatting stigmas associated with poverty and homelessness.

This article first appeared on Penn State News.

Heidi Lynne Photography

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State students Alanna Kaiser, Nathan Larkin, and Jaden Rankin-Wahlers are being honored respectively for their work in social & environmental justice; organizing efforts to address climate change; and combatting stigmas associated with poverty and homelessness.

The Penn State Rock Ethics Institute created the Stand Up Award in 2008 to honor Penn State undergraduate students who have the courage and fortitude to take an ethical stand for a person, cause or belief and thereby demonstrate ethical leadership. You can learn more about each awardee and their story by watching their Stand Up Award Video Story.

“The Stand Up Award honors students who act on their ethical beliefs and principles, who stand up as ethical leaders in our community,” said Michael D. Burroughs, associate director of the Rock Ethics Institute. “The Rock Ethics Institute is proud to recognize these students; we are inspired by their stories and aim to support them as they continue to develop their projects."

Alanna Kaiser, 2016 Stand Up Awardee in Africa

At the age of 15, Alanna Kaiser, founding member and vice-president of Fossil Free PSU, had the opportunity to participate in an environmental leadership program with the Clearwater organization on the Hudson River in New York. That experience had a lasting impact and helped her become aware of the connections between environmental protection and human well-being.

“Climate change is arguably the largest issue facing society today; it disproportionately affects the developing world, costal regions, and the global poor, but its effects will ultimately be felt everywhere,” said Kaiser. “It’s a social justice issue rooted in the environment, and thus, addressing it in order to ensure equitable opportunities for the well-being of all people should be considered a moral obligation.”

After arriving at Penn State, Kaiser wanted to continue her support of the environment and social justice, but needed a way to achieve this goal. She met with a variety of organizations, but nothing seemed to fit. That is until she met with Nathan Larkin, founding member and president of Fossil Free PSU. Together they created Fossil Free PSU, an official student organization with the goal to persuade Penn State to formulate a long-term plan to begin phasing out fossil fuels from investments.

Regardless of the organization or cause, Kaiser believes that anyone can make a positive change in something that they truly believe in. This motivation has helped her succeed in building a group that combines individual voices and helps stand up for those in need.

Currently, Kaiser is studying aboard in Tanzania seeing firsthand how climate change is affecting the lives of the local community and how they must adapt to survive. Her work in Africa will continue with a research project deals with the effects of climate change on gender roles in the Hadzabe and Maasai tribes of Tanzania.   

Nathan Larkin, 2016 Stand Up HonoreeWhile in high school, Nathan Larkin, founding member and president of Fossil Free PSU, became interested in environmental justice. This interest expanded during his first year at Penn State when he, along with a few friends, created Fossil Free PSU.

“[The] fossil free movement was just starting and it struck with me that we needed to have a movement at Penn State,” Larkin said. “Many students see or read about social injustices every day, but most people feel powerless to do anything about it; they feel like they alone cannot make a difference. My work has shown that anyone can organize to help put an end to injustices.”

Larkin’s main goal for Fossil Free PSU is to show how local change can have global implications. If people are able to stand up to injustices, together they can bring about meaningful change and help society. Over the next year, Fossil Free PSU would like to build relationships with other student groups and continue to work with Penn State to find ways to divest from fossil fuels.

“Our everyday language is sprinkled with references to the 'carbon footprint,' 'water footprint,’ 'digital footprint,' but few talk about an 'ethics footprint.' The Stand Up awards are about expanding our moral horizons and learning to see how our actions affect those around us,” said Eduardo Mendieta, associate director of the Rock Ethics Institute. “The Stand Up awardees have confirmed my conviction that the Rock Ethics Institute and Penn State are helping to expand this 'ethical footprint' by teaching us how we can make an impact and transform our lives by modeling ethical leadership."

Jaden Rankin-Wahlers Stand Up honoreeThe stigma and helplessness that comes from poverty caused Jaden Rankin-Wahlers to get involved and help raise awareness for the cause. She is co-president of Lion’s Pantry at Penn State, a student-run food pantry that helps students who are in need. Her main efforts have been to raise awareness about poverty at Penn State and help students understand that they shouldn’t go hungry.

“Asking for help can be scary, but I want people to understand they are not alone,” said Rankin-Wahlers. “I want to stand up for people who need help and empower them.”

To help reach the groups goals in serving more students who are in need, Rankin-Wahlers is looking to partner with residential dining, on-campus eateries, the Interfraternity Council at Penn State, and local businesses and restaurants.

“We are proud to honor these three students whose commitment to ethical leadership serves as a model to us all,” said Nancy Tuana, the Nancy Tuana Director of the Rock Ethics Institute and DuPont/Class of 1949 Professor of Philosophy. “Their stories illustrate what it means to stand up, meet the challenge, and make a difference. “

More information about the honorees and the Stand Up Award can be found at www.StandUpPSU.com.

The Rock Ethics Institute was established through a $5 million gift in 2001 from Doug and Julie Rock to the College of the Liberal Arts. The institute’s mission is to promote ethical awareness and inquiry across the University, and in the public and professional sectors, through a three-fold emphasis on teaching, research and outreach. Recently, the Rocks endowed the Nancy Tuana Directorship of the Rock Ethics Institute with an additional $5 million gift, which was part of a larger commitment they made to the College during "For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students."

UCEA Program Center Interview with Prof. Paul Begley

by SKeira Apr 15, 2015

In this podcast, Prof. Paul Begley, Director of the Willower Center for the Study of Leadership and Ethics, discusses the ethics of leadership and values-oriented educational practices.

Listen to internet radio with UC

Two Penn State Researchers named Rock Ethics Institute Faculty Fellows

by rjp218 Apr 07, 2017
The faculty fellows, Gary John Adler, Jr. and Martin T. Pietrucha, will help integrate curricular and research projects to advance the Rock Ethics Institute’s goal of integrating ethics throughout the Penn State curriculum.

Gary Adler, Jeff Catchmark, Martin Pietrucha, Rose Jolly, Amit Sharma

Rock Ethics Institute Fellows for 2016/17 and 2017/18.

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA – Two Penn State faculty members have been named Faculty Fellows of the Rock Ethics Institute. These individuals will become active partners in the Rock faculty community and will form curricular and research collaborations with faculty hired through Penn State’s co-funded ethics hires program, a transformative effort that aims to make Penn State a leader in collaborative, interdisciplinary ethics research and in ethical literacy.

The 2017 Faculty Fellows are Gary John Adler, Jr., assistant professor of sociology and Martin T. Pietrucha, professor of civil engineering and former director of the transportation operations program.

With the Faculty Fellows program in its second year, the Rock Ethics Institute aims to continue its mission to promote ethical literacy and catalyze ethical leadership throughout the Penn State community and to foster interdisciplinary ethics research designed to address significant social issues and pressing world problems.

“This year’s faculty fellows have worked on the topics of food ethics, and in particular school lunches, sexual violence and recovery therapies, as well as integrating ethics in the agricultural and biological engineering program at Penn State University,” said Eduardo Mendieta, associate director of the Rock Ethics Institute. “Even though this program is only in its second year, it has already shown its efficacy in generating innovative curriculum, interdisciplinary and collaborative research, and nurturing ethical literacy. We are delighted that Gary Adler and Martin Pietrucha will join our research team and collaborate with our core faculty.”

Adler is interested in how individuals understand and why they commit to global social issues, including attempts to address these issues. Through his fellowship, he will analyze the rise of the “new global civic engagement” (NGCE) and develop a theoretical framework to understand how various organizations broker civic engagement projects, including the use of empathy games and simulations.  

Pietrucha will investigate the ethical implications of transportation systems. Since the advent of the signal fire, drum, and semaphore, the development of communication technologies have routinely and progressively outstripped humans’ ability to move in space (i.e., communications “move” faster than transport). Pietrucha will look into the ethical considerations of modern transportation including ethical choices embedded in communication, transport, and access. According to Pietrucha, whenever we move, or have something of ours move, and, conversely, when we prevent someone from moving, or something of theirs from moving, we are potentially making ethical choices that call for better understanding and analysis.

Through education, research, and outreach, each Fellow will help the Rock catalyze ethically informed scholarship, promote ethical literacy, and encourage ethical decision-making at Penn State and beyond.

The Rock Ethics Institute was established through a $5 million gift in 2001 from Doug and Julie Rock to the College of the Liberal Arts. The institute’s mission is to promote ethical awareness and inquiry across the University, and in the public and professional sectors, through a three-fold emphasis on teaching, research and outreach. Recently, the Rocks endowed the Nancy Tuana Directorship of the Rock Ethics Institute with an additional $5 million gift, which was part of a larger commitment they made to the College during ‘For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students.’

Two Penn State researchers named Rock Ethics Institute Faculty Fellows

by rmb529 Jan 11, 2018
Kathryn Sophia Belle, Penn State associate professor of philosophy, and Forrest Briscoe, Penn State professor of management and organization, have been named Faculty Fellows of the Rock Ethics Institute for the 2018-19 academic year.
Two Penn State researchers named Rock Ethics Institute Faculty Fellows

Faculty Fellows '18 - Belle (l) and Briscoe (r)

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Kathryn Sophia Belle, Penn State associate professor of philosophy, and Forrest Briscoe, Penn State professor of management and organization, have been named Faculty Fellows of the Rock Ethics Institute for the 2018-19 academic year.  

Now in its third year, the Faculty Fellows program is part of the Rock Ethics Institute’s mission to promote ethical literacy and catalyze ethical leadership throughout the Penn State community and to foster interdisciplinary ethics research designed to address significant social issues. As the institute's newest faculty fellows, Belle and Briscoe will have the opportunity to pursue curricular and research collaborations with faculty currently affiliated with the institute.

“This year’s Faculty Fellows are looking at research related to religion at the intersections of race and feminism, as well as privacy and security issues in human genomics databases and the ethical considerations,” said Eduardo Mendieta, associate director of the Rock Ethics Institute. “Our Faculty Fellows program is generating new, innovative ethics curriculum, and interdisciplinary research. We look forward to the work that Kathryn Sophia Belle and Forrest Briscoe will bring to our team of collaborative research.”

Belle specializes in continental philosophy, Africana philosophy, philosophy of race, and black feminist philosophy. Through her fellowship, she will examine the tools of ethical literacy and leadership that Buddhism provides to address oppressive systems such as caste, racism, colonialism, sexism and heterosexism. Beyond the fellowship, Belle plans to collaborate with Rock faculty to offer a course and organize a conference around the project. 

Briscoe’s work focuses on organizations adopting new practices and strategies as industries experience change. He is especially interested in how organizational decision makers behave when new changes are controversial, with stakeholders advocating both for and against them. Through his fellowship, he will investigate the unique privacy issues related to sensitive medical and behavioral information found in human genomic databases, which are vulnerable to data breaches as they are shared and accessed by researchers, medical practitioners, technology and pharmaceutical companies, and government agencies. The fellowship will support the publishing of a white paper, as well as an innovative survey on perceptions of genomics privacy risks and benefits.

About the Rock Ethics Institute

The Rock Ethics Institute was established through a $5 million gift in 2001 from Doug and Julie Rock to the College of the Liberal Arts. The institute’s mission is to promote ethical awareness and inquiry across the University, and in the public and professional sectors, through a three-fold emphasis on teaching, research and outreach. Recently, the Rocks endowed the Nancy Tuana Directorship of the Rock Ethics Institute with an additional $5 million gift, which was part of a commitment they made to the college during "For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students."

Two for the Road: Questions for Reflection

by khepler Apr 07, 2015
Contributors: Mark Fisher
This week's installment in the Ethical Dilemmas on Film series is the 1967 film Two for the Road. Here are some questions to get you started in your reflection:

This week's installment in the Ethical Dilemmas on Film series is the 1967 film Two for the Road. Here are some questions to get you started in your reflection:
 

Pay careful attention to the editing. What devices does the director use to cut between different time periods? 

 
To what extent do Marc and Joanna's memories dictate the editing of the film? Are Marc and Joanna still talking to each other as the movie goes along or are they having independent memories? 
 
How does each scene have a corresponding scene? 
 
How is the film a rewriting of the story of Adam and Eve? 
 
Why does the film end where it does? 
 
How do the chronology and construction of this film affect how we view each of the characters? Do the formal choices that Frederic Raphael (the screenwriter) and Stanley Donen (the director) make change our minds about the film's ethical dimensions? That is, how do the film's formal innovations ask us to think about adultery? Power games? Misogyny? Love triangles? Etc. 
 
In her essay, "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema," Laura Mulvey argues that "pleasure in looking has been split between active/male and passive/female. The determining male gaze projects its phantasy on to the female figure which is styled accordingly. In their traditional exhibitionist role women are simultaneously looked at and displayed, with their appearance coded for strong visual and erotic impact so that they can be said to connote to-be-looked-at-ness." How does Two for the Road support or negate this theory?

Thirteen Conversations About One Thing: Questions for Reflection

by khepler Apr 07, 2015
This week's installment in the Ethical Dilemmas on Film series is the 2001 Jill Sprecher film Thirteen Conversations About One Thing. Here are some questions to get you started in your thinking about the film:
This week's installment in the Ethical Dilemmas on Film series is the 2001 Jill Sprecher film Thirteen Conversations About One Thing. Here are some questions to get you started in your thinking about the film:
 

What is the "one thing"? 

 
Can you figure out the actual chronology of events? Why is the film told in the particular order that it is? 
 
Is there such a thing as a coincidence in this film? 
 
Does the film prove that reversibility is impossible? 
 
What does the film have to say about Schadenfreude? 
 
The film takes place in New York City. Is this surprising to realize? 
 
A motif is a recurring subject, theme, idea, form, shape, or figure in a work of art. Does Thirteen Conversations rely on any particular motifs? 
 
Is there a particular character with whom you identify or sympathize? Is this identification or sympathy surprising to you? 
 
We see each of the main characters in his/her workplace. Does the film have anything to say about work? 
 
Does the film have any religious/spiritual dimension? Does it believe in the possibility of grace? 
 
Why is it important that John Turturro's character is a physicist? 
 
When the director, Jill Sprecher, moved to New York City, she was mugged and landed in the hospital with a concussion. Her life spiraled into a serious depression. One day a stranger on the street smiled at her and "the curse was lifted." Does the movie reflect Sprecher's optimism? Despair?

The Worst Ethical Scandal In the US Congress: Climate Change?

by SKeira Apr 15, 2015
Although the US media has recently paid attention to the comparatively minor ethical stories unfolding in the US House of Representatives, there is not a peep in the US media about a much more momentous unfolding ethical failure in the US Senate. While many press stories have appeared in the past few week about potential ethical problems of Representatives Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters in the House, ethical lapses that harm society because public servants may have abused their power in ways that enrich themselves or their families, the US Senate ethical failure is more ethically reprehensible because it is depriving tens of millions of people around the world of life itself or the natural resources necessary to sustain life. The failure in the US Senate to enact legislation to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions is a moral lapse of epic proportions. Yet it is not discussed this way.

What is the worst ethical scandal in the US Congress? Could it be climate change?

Although the US media has recently paid attention to the comparatively minor ethical stories unfolding in the US House of Representatives, there is not a peep in the US media about a much more momentous unfolding ethical failure in the US Senate. While many press stories have appeared in the past few week about potential ethical problems of Representatives Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters in the House, ethical lapses that harm society because public servants may have abused their power in ways that enrich themselves or their families, the US Senate ethical failure is more ethically reprehensible because it is depriving tens of millions of people around the world of life itself or the natural resources necessary to sustain life. The failure in the US Senate to enact legislation to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions is a moral lapse of epic proportions. Yet it is not discussed this way.

There are several distinct features of climate change that call for its recognition as creating civilization challenging ethical questions.

First, climate change creates ethical duties because those most responsible for causing this problem are the richer developed countries, yet those who are most vulnerable to the problem's harshest impacts are some of the world's poorest people in developing countries. That is, climate change is an ethical problem because its biggest victims are people who can do little to reduce its threat.

Second, climate-change impacts are potentially catastrophic for many of the poorest people around the world. Climate change harms include deaths from disease, droughts, floods, heat, and intense storms, damages to homes and villages from rising oceans, adverse impacts on agriculture, diminishing natural resources, the inability to rely upon traditional sources of food, and the destruction of water supplies. In fact, climate change threatens the very existence of some small island nations. Clearly these impacts are potentially catastrophic and there is a growing scientific consensus that we are running out of time to prevent catastrophic climate change.

The third reason why climate change must be seen as an ethical problem stems from its global scope. At the local, regional or national scale, citizens can petition their governments to protect them from serious harms. But at the global level, no government exists whose jurisdiction matches the scale of climate change. And so, although national, regional and local governments have the ability and responsibility to protect citizens within their boarders, they have no responsibility to foreigners in the absence of international law. For this reason, ethical appeals are necessary to motivate governments to take steps to prevent their citizens from seriously harming foreigners.

In 1979 a report issued for the United States Academy of Sciences acknowledged that humans were changing the atmosphere and predicted that if CO2 was allowed to increase to 560 parts per million (ppm), global temperatures would increase approximately 3 0 C. (Charney et al., 1979)

In May of this year, the US Academy of Sciences issued another report that found:

A strong, credible body of scientific evidence shows that climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for a broad range of human and natural systems. (US Academy of Sciences, 2010)

And so, after thirty years of first being warned that activities within its boarders may be contributing to huge suffering all around the world, despite frequent additional warnings with higher levels of confidence from many prestigious scientific bodies and organizations since then that have concluded that climate change is a grave threat, ignoring increasing scientific concern that the world is running out of time to prevent even more rapid climate change, the United States Senate refuses to take action to fulfill its ethical duties to others to prevent harm.

Both Democratic and Republican Senators who oppose action on climate change in the US Senate do so because such legislation would "create a 'national energy tax", warning costs would be passed to consumers in the form of higher electricity bills and fuel costs that would lead manufacturers to take their factories overseas, putting jobs at risk. (Haroon, 2010)

For twenty-five years, many American politicians have opposed climate change legislation on similar grounds that such legislation would harm US economic interests.

Yet, if climate change raises ethical questions, then strong arguments can be made that nations have not only national interests but also duties, responsibilities, and obligations to others. However, ethical arguments that could counter the national-interest based arguments are rarely heard in the climate change debate and are now virtually absent in the U.S. discussion of proposed domestic climate change legislation. We never hear, for instance in the United States that we should enact climate change legislation because our emissions are harming others. This is a catastrophic ethical failure.

By:

Donald A. Brown
Associate Professor 
Environmental Ethics, Science, and Law
Penn State University
Dab57@psu.edu.

References

Charney Jule et al, 1979, Carbon Dioxide and Climate: A Scientific Assessment, Report of an Ad-Hoc Study Group on Carbon Dioxide and Climate, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, July 23-27, 1979 to the Climate Research Board, National Research Council, Washington, DC: National Academy Press,1979. http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/~brianpm/download/charney_report.pdf

Siddique, Haroon, 2010, US Senate Drops Bill To Cap Carbon Emissions. Gaurdian, July 23, 2010. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jul/23/us-senate-climate-change-bill

US Academy of Sciences, 2010. Strong Evidence On Climate Change Underscores Need For Actions To Reduce Emissions And Begin Adapting To Impacts
http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=05192010