The Crisis in Global Ethics and the Future of Global Governance
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The Crisis in Global Ethics and the Future of Global Governance

Fulfilling the Promise of the Earth Charter

Edited by Peter Burdon, Klaus Bosselmann and Kirsten Engel

This thought-provoking book stimulates dialogue and action on the role of global ethics in the governance of individual societies and the international order. Such inquiry is imperative given the extraordinary challenges that face the world today. Leading figures in environmental ethics, philosophy and law approach questions surrounding global ethics and governance from a range of cultural and philosophical perspectives.
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Chapter 5: The Earth Charter facing the Anthropocene Epoch

Holmes Rolston III

Abstract

This chapter considers whether the Earth Charter will remain an aspirational document. Aspirational documents may be cheerfully endorsed as high ideals that we can some day hope for, but with the reservation that these ideals are nowhere in sight on the contemporary horizon. It argues that the Earth Charter is unlikely ever to be treated as an ‘unconditional covenant commitment... to be a real and operative agency in our lives, something to which we give ourselves wholeheartedly’. It also engages Engel’s contention that the Earth Charter can be a forceful influence in the face of Earth engineering and advancements in environmental ethics.

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