Is There a Sacrifice-Free Solution to Climate Change?

Ethics, Policy and Environment 18 (1):68-78 (2015)
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Abstract

John Broome claims that there is a sacrifice-free solution to climate change. He says this is a consequence of elementary economics. After explaining the economic argument in somewhat more detail than Broome, I show that the argument is unsound. A main problem with it stems from Derek Parfit's ‘nonidentity effect.’ But there is hope, since the nonidentity effect underwrites a more philosophical yet more plausible route to a sacrifice-free solution. So in the end I join Broome in asking economists and policymakers to help make this a reality.

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J. Paul Kelleher
University of Wisconsin, Madison

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