Climate hypocrisy and environmental integrity

Journal of Social Philosophy (forthcoming)
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Abstract

Accusations of hypocrisy are a recurring theme in the public debate on climate change, but their significance remains poorly understood. Different motivations are associated with this accusation, which is leveled by proponents and opponents of climate action. In this article, I undertake a systematic assessment of climate hypocrisy, with a focus on lifestyle and political hypocrisy. I contextualize the corresponding accusation, introduce criteria for the conceptual analysis of climate hypocrisy, and develop an evaluative framework that allows us to determine its moral significance. I argue that different instances of climate hypocrisy are problematic to different degrees, depending on how detrimental they are to an agent's attainment of environmental integrity. The resulting framework helps clear the confusion caused by disinformation campaigners, by distinguishing objectionable uses of the climate hypocrisy charge from constructive ones motivated by genuine concern for integrity.

Author's Profile

Valentin Beck
Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin

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