Faced with the prospect of global warming, the anticipated rapid rise in global air temperatures due to the release of gases into the atmosphere, we have two choices of how to respond: adaptation or avoidance. With adaptation we keep burning fossil fuels, let global temperatures rise and make whatever changes this requires: move people from environmentally damaged areas, build sea walls, etc. With avoidance we stop warming from occurring, either by reducing our use of fossil fuels or by using technology such as carbon dioxide recovery after combustion to block the warming effect. Yet each strategy has its drawbacks — adaptation may not be able to occur fast enough to accommodate the expected temperature increases, but avoidance would be prohibitively expensive. An ethically acceptable goal must involve some mixture of adaptation and avoidance.
Written by a team of scientists, social scientists, humanists, legal and environmental scholars and corporate researchers, this book offers an ethical analysis of possible responses to the problem. Their analyses of the scientific and technological data and the ethical principles involved in determining whose interests should be considered point to a combination of adaptation and avoidance of greenhouse gas production. They offer assessments of personal, corporate, government and international responsibility and a series of recommendations to aid decision-makers in determining solutions and apportioning responsibility.
About the authors
Harold Coward is a scholar of international reputation with distinguished contributions to both the University of Victoria and University of Calgary throughout his extensive career. After retiring from the University of Victoria as director of the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society, he continues to be involved as a research fellow. He is currently a member of the Genome BC Board of Directors, where he serves as a specialist on ethics and biotechnology. In June 2002, Dr. Coward was also selected as one of the twenty-five power thinkers in British Columbia by BC Business Magazine.
Leslie S. Kawamura is an Assistant Professor, Department of Religious Studies, University of Calgary, Alberta. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, in Far Eastern Studies (1974). He has studied at the Kyoto University (Japan) and has taught at the Nyingma Institute (Berkeley), Institute of Buddhist Studies (Berkeley), and the University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon). His publications include Mind in Buddhist Psychology (with H.V. Guenther, Dharma Press, 1975) and Golden Zephyr (Dharma Press, 1975). He was a founding member of the Honpa Buddhist Church of Alberta and the Canada-Mongolia Society.
Thomas Hurka is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Calgary. From 1989–92 he wrote a weekly ethics column for The Globe and Mail.
Other titles by Harold Coward
Silence, the Word and the Sacred
Fifty Years of Religious Studies in Canada
A Personal Retrospective
Language in Indian Philosophy and Religion
Readings in Eastern Religions
Religious Dimensions of Child and Family Life
Reflections on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
Population Growth, Resource Consumption, and the Environment
Seeking a Common Vision for a Troubled World
Climate Change in Canada
Mystics and Scholars
The Calgary Conference on Mysticism 1976
Humanities in the Present Day
Religion and Ethnicity
Other titles by Thomas Hurka
Games, Sports, and Play
British Ethical Theorists from Sidgwick to Ewing
The Grasshopper - Third Edition
Games, Life and Utopia
British Moral Philosophers from Sidgwick to Ewing
The Best Things in Life
A Guide to What Really Matters