Climate Change, Opinions, and Imagination: Toward a New Ethic of Curiosity
MORAL IMPERIALISM: A CRITICAL ANTHOLOGY, p. 320, B. Hernandez, ed., New York University Press 2002
17 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2012
Date Written: 2002
Conflicts over what to do about environmental problems can stretch social cohesion to a breaking point. Groups with different value commitments find it hard to communicate with each other when collaborative action will demand a shift of perspective. Especially when there are significant uncertainties, discussion may become focused on minor factual disputes. This chapter explores the obstacles to social learning in the context of climate change. It suggests that the familiar format of debate and argument discourages recognition of ambiguities and complexities. Debate and analogous forms of discourse, including litigation, should find a way to formally accommodate “curiosity” about what is known and what is yet to be discovered. In addition, there is a need for presentation of policy options in more extended and publicly accessible formats.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation