Peace Iziegbe Osaghae


Any action on climate change confronts serious global ethical issues of duty, equity and
responsibility among individuals, generations and the rest of nature. Climate change is an
alteration in the total weather condition of a location averaged over some long period of time.
It has become one of the major issues keenly discussed in contemporary environmental ethics.
On the other hand, Moral refers to actions that fall within the purview of behaviours that can
be analyzed by use of principles of right or wrong. In other words, a moral act is an act that
complies with set standards or principles of good or right behaviour. However, it is highly
controversial among scholars whether climate change can be taken to be a moral issue or not.
The question of what constitutes the basis of morality when considering climate change is still
very problematic. Even among those who consider it a moral issue, there are overlapping
concerns on how the moral evaluation should be considered. To this effect, this paper
attempts a clarification of why climate change is a moral issue; it brings to the fore, the
various perspectives and controversies of the moral dimension of the debate on climate
change. Adopting an analytic, hermeneutic and evaluative method, this paper attributes a
significant part of the controversies to conceptual misinterpretation. It thus elucidates,
through arguments and conceptual clarification why it becomes a moral duty for man to
preserve his natural environment. It concludes that as moral agents, the ecological protection
and preservation of our world is our primary responsibility because the earth is ours to
plough and not to plunder.

Full Text:



Echekwube A.O. (1999). Contemporary Ethics: History, Theories & Issues. Lagos:

Spero Books Limited. p. 272.

Peter and Bob Carter, “Is Climate change a 'moral' Issue?” http//:www.petesplacepeter. (Accessed on 27th

May, 2018).

Mabolo R.B. (2008). Applied Ethics: Moral Responsibilities for the Contemporary

World. Dawao: Ms Lopez Printing & Publishing. p.3.

Although the few Scientists who go against the arguments of the greens are pejoratively

labeled “greenhouse deniers” or “greenhouse skeptics”, I have chosen to call them antigreen

for my research shows that there exist a (small) group of them who actually believe

in anthropogenic greenhouse effect but disagree with the greens on the basis of the

solution offered. See Rob Lyons “Climate Change: a practical problem, not a moral one”

in Spiked, .

“ W h a t i s C l i m a t e ? ” h t t p : / / w w w . w e a t h e r q u e s t i o n s . c o m / w h a t - i s -

climate.htm&”climate”, see also, “Climate” http//

(Accessed on 31st May, 2018).



Ome E. M. (2009). Ethics and Morality: An Introductory Discourse in Ethics and

Morality: Basic Concepts, Some Contentious Issues and Responses. Enugu: Folmech

Publishers. pp. 1-11.

Anyam D.T. (2011). Issues in Moral Philosophy. Nigeria: Obeta Continental Press.

Dassai S. Et al. (2004). “Defining and Experiencing Dangerous Climate Change” in

Climate Change. Netherland: Kluwer Academic Publishers. 64: pp.11-25

Mabolo R.B. Op. Cit. p.5.

Peter and Bob Carter. Op. Cit.

“ R e s e a r c h d e b u n k e d g r e e n h o u s e t h e o r y ” It was also

extensively discussed in “Global warming”,

warming. (Accessed on 27 May 2018).


Climate Change: A Moral Issue

“Greenhouse Theory Smashed by Biggest Stone” (March 14, 2006), (Accessed on 31st May, 2018)

Robert J. (2006). “Falsehood in Gore's An Inconvenient Truth” Others sources where

Al-Gore's Claims was refuted include: Marlo lewis Jnr A Skeptic's Guide to An

Inconvenient Truth at the Competitive Enterprise Institute; I. Muray. Gorey Truths: 25

Inconvenient Truth for Al-gore, Completive Enterprise Institute. “Global warming”; Tom Morinty “Criticisms of al-

Gore's “An Inconvenient Truth”,

an-inconvinent-Truth/01/06/2001. (Retrieved on 1st of June, 2018).

Peter and Bob Carter, Op. Cit.


I am aware of the initial controversy as to whether or not acid rain is caused by man but

the recent research shows that it is primarily caused by man. For detail analysis, see “The

E n v i r o n m e n t , A G l o b a l C h a l l e n g e : A c i d r a i n ”

http// (Accessed on

nd 2 of June, 2018).

Lyons R. (2011). “Climate Change: a Practical Problem, not a moral one” in Spiked, (Accessed on 27th May, 2018).


Moore G.E. (1966). Principia Ethics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p.26


  • There are currently no refbacks.