Cover image for The dragon and the disc; an investigation into the totally fantastic
The dragon and the disc; an investigation into the totally fantastic
Holiday, F. W. (Frederick William), 1921-1979.
Publication Information:
New York : Norton [1973]
Physical Description:
247 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GR830.O7 H64 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Esteemed philosopher John Broome avoids the familiar ideological stances on climate change policy and examines the issue through an invigorating new lens. As he considers the moral dimensions of climate change, he reasons clearly through what universal standards of goodness and justice require of us, both as citizens and as governments. His conclusions--some as demanding as they are logical--will challenge and enlighten. Eco-conscious readers may be surprised to hear they have a duty to offset all their carbon emissions, while policy makers will grapple with Broome's analysis of what if anything is owed to future generations. From the science of greenhouse gases to the intricate logic of cap and trade, Broome reveals how the principles that underlie everyday decision making also provide simple and effective ideas for confronting climate change. Climate Matters is an essential contribution to one of the paramount issues of our time.

Author Notes

John Broome is the White's Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Oxford. He is also the lead author on Working Group III of the UN's International Panel on Climate Change.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

While the environmental and ecological impact of climate change continues to be monitored, there lies at the heart of every observation a philosophical aspect that the popular and political press tends to disregard. Noted philosopher Broome looks at what is commonly believed to be a strictly scientific problem from a different viewpoint, based on his belief that, on global and individual levels, the actions and reactions that have caused changing climate conditions should be examined from a moral standpoint. Broome asks such crucial questions as, Who is harmed by greenhouse emissions? How are future outcomes measured against current practices? How can the actions of an individual make a difference when nations can't seem to agree on major initiatives? Covering economic growth, population control, and scientific findings both certain and unclear, Broome presents salient and succinct arguments for ethical behavior, drawing surprising conclusions that are as inspiring as they are controversial. Part of Amnesty International's Global Ethics series, Broome's provocative analysis of the world's most pressing challenge provides stimulating food for thought.--Haggas, Carol Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

The latest from the Amnesty International Global Ethics series examines climate change from a philosophical perspective and explains the moral duties required to combat the problem. Drawing on the numerous scientific studies demonstrating that "the Arctic is melting," Oxford philosopher Broome (Counting the Cost of Global Warming) begins with the effects this melting has on the local human population (for example, the Inuit people of Greenland and northern Canada), such as the sudden unpredictability of animal life and difficulty constructing shelter. Broome contends that at the bare minimum, the rest of the world has an obligation to reduce climate change to assist these innocent victims, if not to prevent potential future catastrophes elsewhere. On an individual level, people should, in the interests of justice, stop emitting greenhouse gases, which clearly cause harm to others, according to Broome. It is the responsibility of governments, whose aim should be to promote goodness in various ways, to reduce emissions and thus decrease the damage caused by climate change. While predictions of the future climate range "from the relatively benign to the catastrophically harsh," experts agree that the risk of disaster is a real possibility. As a result, Broome argues, people must pressure their governments to work together to significantly reduce emissions now. Though this is a well-reasoned consideration of the issue's ethical implications and obligations, it's unlikely to sway nonbelievers. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Choice Review

This volume presents a very different approach for conceptualizing and addressing climate change phenomena. Broome (moral philosophy, Oxford Univ., UK; economist) discusses the intended outcomes of an array of climate change issues, using a two-part moral perspective. First, he considers the domain of private and public morality that encompasses private life decisions and a citizen's role as a contributor to the larger arena of government morality. Second, he examines the outcomes that look at morality through a concern for justice and for promoting good, i.e., making the world a better place. The latter focuses on not doing harm to people, a duty that primarily rests with governments, which carry a stronger moral mandate than do individuals. Broome indicates that the benefits from numerous decisions result from current or near-future actions; these might yield positive outcomes that will emerge slowly over ensuing decades. However, individuals, especially government decision makers, never have been good at dealing well with such delayed gratification. This is the pervasive dilemma of any actions taken to deal with the problem. A useful resource for academics and their advanced students since it provides a way to conceptualize the myriad problems that climate change actions present. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through researchers/faculty. M. Evans emeritus, SUNY Empire State College

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introductionp. 1
Chapter 2 Sciencep. 16
Chapter 3 Economicsp. 37
Chapter 4 Justice and Fairnessp. 49
Chapter 5 Private Moralityp. 73
Chapter 6 Goodnessp. 97
Chapter 7 Uncertaintyp. 117
Chapter 8 The Future versus the Presentp. 133
Chapter 9 Livesp. 156
Chapter 10 Populationp. 169
Chapter 11 Summaryp. 187
Notesp. 193
Acknowledgmentsp. 199
Indexp. 201