CLIMATE CHANGE: A MORAL ISSUE

Peace Iziegbe Osaghae

Abstract


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.

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References


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