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Global Justice, Natural Resources, and Climate Change$
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Megan Blomfield

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198791737

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198791737.001.0001

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Against Equal Division of Natural Resources

Against Equal Division of Natural Resources

(p.62) 4 Against Equal Division of Natural Resources
Global Justice, Natural Resources, and Climate Change

Megan Blomfield

Oxford University Press

This chapter rejects Equal Division, focusing on Hillel Steiner’s formulation of the view. First, further explanation of why one might take Equal Division to follow from Equal Original Claims is provided. Then, David Miller’s objection is introduced, according to which there is no defensible metric by which resource shares can be made commensurate, given the fact of reasonable value pluralism. The chapter argues that what the metric problem really shows, is that Equal Division possesses insufficient impartiality to satisfy the equal original claims that motivate the view in the first place. This case is made by critiquing the three principal metrics proposed to amalgamate individual valuations of natural resources and thereby render Equal Division both coherent and defensible; namely, economic value, opportunity cost, and ecological space. The chapter concludes that to respect Equal Original Claims, the better approach will be to formulate a Common Ownership conception of justice for natural resources.

Keywords:   David Miller, ecological space, economic value, Equal Division, Equal Original Claims, Hillel Steiner, impartiality, metric problem, opportunity cost, reasonable value pluralism

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