Sometimes it seems obvious what we 'ought' to do about climate change, but so few respond to this apparent 'ought' that we have to consider all manner of other ethical perspectives. I often reflect on these questions in the form of notes or sometimes formal letters messages to a hypothetical great-great-great grand-daughter living in the 22nd century. Here's a short sample
I have sometimes used 'Sweden' (in inverted commas) as a metaphor for the ultimate neo-Holocene state where all humanity has achieved a secure and prosperous life -- a state for which the scandinavian countries have long served as a stereotype. This is the presentation form of a lecture given in the real Sweden, to discuss ethical issues and persuade Swedes that they could show the rest of the world how to do it.
Getting through to 'Sweden' 2006 (ppt)
This presentation argues that a 'strong' stand on climate policy arises from ordinary values that most people claim to have, but do not act upon.
Climate Change and Everyday Values 2010 (ppt)
Puzzlement about why 'ordinary values' are not enough to provoke even meaningful debate, let alone resolute action, can easily lead to despair, reflected in this note
Is it time to give up? 2012 (doc)
Further explorations of despair are found in this pair of items, a public lecture and some notes to go with it:
Good Grief! The Next Fifty Years 2012 (ppt)
Good Grief: Notes 2012 (doc)
In retrospect it is possible these gloomy views arose from the rude dashing of the high hopes of 2008, before the Copenhagen debacle, and before 'Climategate' showed how desperate was the vast majority for even the flimsiest justification for denialism. But that even bien pensant opinion is reluctant to engage, remains a paradox:
The Giddens Paradox 2012 (docx)