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Center for Practical & Professional Ethics Sacramento State University

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Are We Morally Obligated to Restrict Our Carbon Footprints?

March 7, 2022

Speaker: Dan Shahar, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of New Orleans

Those who worry about climate change often claim people must restrict their carbon footprints. Some have questioned such claims due to the consequential insignificance of any one person’s climate impacts. Yet, proponents of carbon footprint reductions have formulated defenses that do not depend on one’s ability to alter climatic outcomes. In this talk, Dan Shahar presents new grounds to be skeptical of a specific moral obligation to restrict our carbon footprints. Shahar argues each of us has a duty to make some positive difference in our problem-ridden world, but carbon footprint reductions represent just one option for doing this. Although it is true carbon footprint reductions advance several important values, many of these same values can be promoted in other ways as well. Moreover, Shahar contends focusing too much on carbon footprint reductions can be counterproductive, sending the climate movement down a path that is inefficient, distracting, and polarizing.

Details: 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m., Zoom webinar REGISTER NOW