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A Perfect Moral StormThe Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change$
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Stephen M. Gardiner

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195379440

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195379440.001.0001

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A Perfect Moral Storm

A Perfect Moral Storm

(p.19) Chapter 1 A Perfect Moral Storm
A Perfect Moral Storm

Stephen M. Gardiner

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a detailed introduction to the metaphor of the perfect moral storm and its application to climate change. It sketches each of the main elements of the storm ‐ its global, intergenerational and theoretical dimensions—and also the resulting problem of moral corruption. It also examines some exacerbating features of the climate case, such as scientific uncertainty, the skewed vulnerability of those least responsible, and the creation of new victims and tragic choices. These matters are taken up in more detail in later chapters.

Keywords:   climate policy, tragedy of the commons, prisoner's dilemma, global ethics, intergenerational ethics, theoretical inadequacy, moral corruption, scientific uncertainty, nonhuman nature, tragic choices, cost‐benefit analysis

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