February 07, 2011

Environmental Ethicist to Speak on Climate Policy at Baker-Nord Event

Stephen Gardiner
Stephen Gardiner. Photo courtesy
of University of Washington.

What does great literature have to teach us about today’s global problems such as climate change?

During a tour for his new book, A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change, environmental ethicist Stephen Gardiner will visit Case Western Reserve University to give the inaugural Issa Lecture as part of the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities’ yearlong exploration of globalism.

Considered one of the distinctive voices in contemporary ethical debates about climate change, Gardiner will address the topic, “Climate Policy and Wise Literature in a Perfect Moral Storm,” on Thursday, Feb. 17, at 6 p.m. in 309 Clark Hall. The event is free and open to the public. 

He will draw from great works of literature to demonstrate how these writings can raise awareness of this critical issue facing all life on earth. And he will address how ethical action on climate change is made more difficult by global, intergenerational and theoretical challenges.

In a review about Gardiner’s new book, Peter Singer from Princeton University commented: “Stephen Gardiner takes to a new level our understanding of the moral dimensions of climate change. A Perfect Moral Storm argues convincingly that climate change is the greatest moral challenge our species has ever faced—and the problem goes even deeper than we think.”

Gardiner, a University of Washington associate professor in the Department of Philosophy and the Program on Values in Society, said the public has undergone a willful self-deception in ignoring this profound issue and has endangered future generations and the world they will inhabit.

The Baker-Nord Center theme for academic year 2010-2011 is “Globalism.” “As we have learned from our theme for the previous academic year, ‘Cultures of Green: Nature and the Environment,’ today’s environmental issues are global in scope,” said Anne Helmreich, director of the Baker-Nord Center. “Stephen Gardiner’s work addresses the concept of the ‘commons’ with respect to climate change, helping us to recognize the environment as a shared resource and to consider the ethical implications of this realization.”

While open to the public, registration is recommended at case.edu/humanities.

Posted by: Emily Mayock, February 7, 2011 08:05 AM | News Topics: Lectures/Speakers

Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.