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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 Shadowy and Evolving Tragedy

A Shadowy and Evolving Tragedy

(p.103) Chapter 4 A Shadowy and Evolving Tragedy
A Perfect Moral Storm

Stephen M. Gardiner

Oxford University Press

This chapter continues the investigation of the global storm. The chapter asks the question: if the optimistic analysis fails for climate change, what are the alternatives? The chapter especially looks at what might explain the last two decades of climate policy and hopes for a better model for the problem in the future. The chapter states that one option is to invoke the prisoner's dilemma and the model of the tragedy of the commons. The chapter explores the strengths and weaknesses of this account. The chapter considers the standard prisoner's dilemma model, and argues that climate change deviates from it in significant ways. It then claims that those deviations reflect important differences between the prisoner's dilemma and the tragedy of the commons metaphors. Climate change is an evolving tragedy, the chapter states. Finally the chapter looks at some issues raised by this analysis.

Keywords:   prisoner's dilemma, tragedy of the commons, climate change, shadow solutions, global justice

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