In this article I hold that utilitarians are wrong to want to disaggregate climate-induced harm, whether in terms of chaotic or linear causality. This is not because individual emissions do not count, in probabilistic terms, for risk projections of overall climate dam-age, rather because individual emissions only contribute to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration if the anthropogenic flow of CO2 exceeds the amount of CO2 that can be naturally taken up by the biosphere, over a given time segment. I therefore maintain that individual climate duties consist of reforming the social and technological structures that make each individual emission part of a collective phenomenon, global warming, which leads to an enormous global disutility, climate change. In the final part of the article, I argue that utilitarian ethics would have much more to say if, instead of focusing on the dis-aggregation of climate-induced harm, it addressed the key issues of the energy transition, i.e. carbon pricing, research and development in green technologies and climate finance.

The Disaggregation of Climate-Induced Harm: An Impossible Undertaking for Utilitarians

Corvino F.
2022

Abstract

In this article I hold that utilitarians are wrong to want to disaggregate climate-induced harm, whether in terms of chaotic or linear causality. This is not because individual emissions do not count, in probabilistic terms, for risk projections of overall climate dam-age, rather because individual emissions only contribute to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration if the anthropogenic flow of CO2 exceeds the amount of CO2 that can be naturally taken up by the biosphere, over a given time segment. I therefore maintain that individual climate duties consist of reforming the social and technological structures that make each individual emission part of a collective phenomenon, global warming, which leads to an enormous global disutility, climate change. In the final part of the article, I argue that utilitarian ethics would have much more to say if, instead of focusing on the dis-aggregation of climate-induced harm, it addressed the key issues of the energy transition, i.e. carbon pricing, research and development in green technologies and climate finance.
En este artículo mantengo que los utilitaristas yerran al querer desagregar el daño inducido por el clima, ya sea en términos de causalidad caótica o lineal. Esto no se debe a que las emisiones individuales no cuenten, en términos probabilísticos, para las proyec-ciones de riesgo de daños climáticos globales, sino más bien a que las emisiones indivi-duales solo contribuyen a aumentar la concentración de CO2 atmosférico si el flujo del CO2 antropogénico excede la cantidad de CO2 que puede ser absorbido naturalmente por la biosfera, en un segmento de tiempo dado. Por lo tanto, sostengo que las obligaciones climáticas individuales consisten en reformar las estructuras sociales y tecnológicas que hacen que cada emisión individual sea parte de un fenómeno colectivo, el calentamiento global, que conduce a una enorme inutilidad global, el cambio climático. En la parte final del artículo, argumento que la ética utilitarista tendría mucho más que decir si, en lugar de concentrarse en la desagregación del daño inducido por el clima, abordara los temas clave de la transición energética, esto es: la fijación del precio del carbono, la investigación y desarrollo de las tecnologías verdes y la financiación climática.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
02Fausto_Corvino[443997].pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Documento in Post-print
Licenza: PUBBLICO - Pubblico con Copyright
Dimensione 372.49 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
372.49 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11382/547251
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 0
social impact