Working group takes environmental ethics in two directions

The Environmental Ethics Working Group has embarked on two distinct and experimental approaches to environmental ethical research. One approach explores the normative dimensions of quantitative environmental research. The other approach seeks either to integrate scientific data into normative arguments or to examine the real world quantitative implications of such arguments. The combination of quantitative and normative work is an exciting new interdisciplinary adventure.

Last quarter's environmental ethics working group kicked off with Marilyn Cornelius (1st year PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources -- IPER) presenting a paper on global identity and climate justice. Last quarter's presentations were made by graduate students and post-docs in Education, Public Policy, Global Justice, Ethics and Society, Philosophy, and IPER on topics including national savings and sustainability, national obligations to prevent catastrophic climate change, how moral and political values affect research, the security impacts of climate change, who should bear the costs of Indian energy policy changes and what drinking water standards are appropriate for rural areas.

The group meets once a week to discuss a member's research and is funded through Woods Institute Environmental Venture Project and the Program on Global Justice Program. Debra Satz, Joshua Cohen and Kenneth J. Arrow serve as faculty advisors. Aside from eventually publishing the papers, the group is organizing a workshop for Winter 2009.