Edited by Paul G. Harris
Chapter 4: The world as it is: a vision for a social science (and policy) turn in climate justice
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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