Parenting the Planet

THE ETHICS OF GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE, Denis G. Arnold, ed., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming

U of Colorado Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-03

40 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2010

See all articles by Sarah Krakoff

Sarah Krakoff

University of Colorado Law School

Abstract

Climate change and other environmental problems of global scale indicate that we have entered, as Nobel prize winner Paul Crutzen has described it, the “Anthropocene,” the era of pervasive human influence on the earth’s natural systems. Further, the collective action features of climate change render it a commons problem of global and intergenerational proportions. Grounding an ethical relationship with the environment in any of the existing consequentialist, deontological, and even virtue-based approaches is insufficient if the hallmarks of the Anthropocene are not considered. This chapter begins a conversation about an appropriate metaphor for the Anthropocene, from which ethical frameworks and vocabulary might flow. I suggest that the metaphor of parenting, while not perfect, captures the aspects of control, care, and inherent tragedy that characterize the stage that humans now occupy with respect to their relationship with the planet.

Keywords: Climate Change, Environment, Ethics, Virtue

JEL Classification: Z00

Suggested Citation

Krakoff, Sarah, Parenting the Planet. THE ETHICS OF GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE, Denis G. Arnold, ed., Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming; U of Colorado Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-03. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1548658

Sarah Krakoff (Contact Author)

University of Colorado Law School ( email )

401 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309
United States

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