A Research Agenda for Climate Justice
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A Research Agenda for Climate Justice

Edited by Paul G. Harris

Climate change will bring great suffering to communities, individuals and ecosystems. Those least responsible for the problem will suffer the most. Justice demands urgent action to reverse its causes and impacts. In this provocative new book, Paul G. Harris brings together a collection of original essays to explore alternative, innovative approaches to understanding and implementing climate justice in the future. Through investigations informed by philosophy, politics, sociology, law and economics, this Research Agenda reveals how climate change is a matter of justice and makes concrete proposals for more effective mitigation.
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Chapter 4: The world as it is: a vision for a social science (and policy) turn in climate justice

David E. Storey


Climate justice is overwhelmingly cosmopolitan. Cosmopolitan forms of climate justice are defensible, but given the failure of ethics to penetrate climate policy, and of climate policy to gain political traction, perhaps we ought to stop asking whether our accounts of climate justice are ‘right or wrong’ and start asking why they have not worked thus far. This chapter lays out a research agenda that brings together moral philosophy and the social sciences to develop a more effective approach to climate justice by identifying three key worldviews – traditional, modern and postmodern – that fuel gridlock on climate. Put simply, the climate justice debate has been framed as a zero-sum conflict between moderns and post-moderns that ignores traditionalists. We need to seek ways of framing climate justice and communicating climate policy that aim at convergence and congruence between the major worldviews.

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