Document Type

Poster Session

Location

Jepson School of Leadership Studies, University of Richmond

Event Website

http://jepson.richmond.edu/research/symposium/index.html

Start Date

15-4-2016 10:30 AM

End Date

15-4-2016 1:30 PM

Description

Climate change harms the health of the environment and the well-being of humans. It is the poor choices of individual consumers that contribute to climate change conditions. I argue that it is immoral to cause harm to others, thus climate change is an ethical dilemma for individual consumers. Enforcement of climate change policies are therefore justified, as individuals who cause harm through consumer behavior are liable to punishment. I begin with a pluralistic discussion of harm, before discussing the duties of individuals to make choices that will mitigate the current harms of climate change and the wrong moral assumptions that individuals make regarding their contribution to climate change. I discuss the principles of ethical consumerism which explain how consumers make choices, specifically in housing, food, and transportation. These three areas are useful for the argument of individual choice and climate change because they are where consumers most often face choices that have such a large impact on the environment. Lastly, I argue that climate change is an enforceable duty on the premise that those who cause or threaten harm are liable for their actions and that individuals are equally as liable for the collective well-being. I conclude with suggestions for new policies specifically regarding the use of plastic, taxing individual energy use, and food production.

Comments

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jessica Flanigan, Assistant Professor of Leadership Studies

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Apr 15th, 10:30 AM Apr 15th, 1:30 PM

The Ethics of Environmentalism for the Individual Consumer

Jepson School of Leadership Studies, University of Richmond

Climate change harms the health of the environment and the well-being of humans. It is the poor choices of individual consumers that contribute to climate change conditions. I argue that it is immoral to cause harm to others, thus climate change is an ethical dilemma for individual consumers. Enforcement of climate change policies are therefore justified, as individuals who cause harm through consumer behavior are liable to punishment. I begin with a pluralistic discussion of harm, before discussing the duties of individuals to make choices that will mitigate the current harms of climate change and the wrong moral assumptions that individuals make regarding their contribution to climate change. I discuss the principles of ethical consumerism which explain how consumers make choices, specifically in housing, food, and transportation. These three areas are useful for the argument of individual choice and climate change because they are where consumers most often face choices that have such a large impact on the environment. Lastly, I argue that climate change is an enforceable duty on the premise that those who cause or threaten harm are liable for their actions and that individuals are equally as liable for the collective well-being. I conclude with suggestions for new policies specifically regarding the use of plastic, taxing individual energy use, and food production.

http://scholarship.richmond.edu/jepsonresearchsymposium/2016/program/2