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December 16, 2007


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It's strange, everyone seems to think that it would be ridiculous to allocate carbon rights on a per-capita basis. The logic escapes me - something like, "The United States would never go for that, and it would be grossly unfair." It seems more fair than imposing restrictions only on rich countries, though, so why is it so unacceptable?


I think the Sunstein/Posner analysis in this post and in the Climate Change Justice Article is deeply flawed.

My principal objection is to the authors' confessed inability to think of a way in which the Aristotelian notion of justice, as a mean between extremes, might bear on the climate change issue.

With respect, it is more nearly just to postpone the obligations of developing countries and require developed countires to work on reductions than it is to hold hostage a course of complicated policy experimentation to a dream of parity of obligation among societies that are radically unequal.

What is at stake here, it seems to me, is how social understanding of the world-system, which global warming brings acutely into focus, will expand to make possible a cooperative way to control the degradation of a huge but limited common pool.

The ground of all normativity in human affairs is the intuition of the whole of which each and all who are subject to the relevant norms are a part. (I know this is not conceded by utilitarians, but they are wrong.)

The Aristotelian mean in this connection applies to the notional zone between anarchic lack of constraints prevailing throughout the relevant whole and totalistic regimes that do not take account of relevant differences that prevail within the reach of their controls.

The question therefore is whether the relative immiseration of hundreds of millions in China for lack of economic development is relevant to the justice of a proposed scheme of allocation of responsibility for reduction of greenhouse gases today. I do not think the Bali convention is considering a waiver for China for all time henceforth and evermore.

Accordingly, as a matter of realizing balance among a complex array of relevant values, or, in other words, an Aristotelian mean, it seems to me the developed countries could do considerably worse than giving China a conditional and temporally limited pass for today, the appropriateness of which can very well be revisited on another day.

The genius of Aristotle's formulation of justice is mitigated by the static fallacy to which his general metaphysical views were subject. Once we see that justice is always and only instantiated along with other values and on a "more or less" basis from occasion to occasion, it seems much less difficult than Sunstein and Posner appear to think to identify the relative justice of one particular outcome or another.

Informed Lawyer

A Bali Puzzle arises because of the 'Bali Babble', which is premised on the mistaken notion that blame and responsibility for observable but not yet quantifiable global warming can be ascribed with certainty and then allocated with precision to specific anthropogenic as opposed to natural sources, pursuant to the polluter-pays principle of environment-centric sustainable development.

This, in itself, is based on the false Malthusian pretense of 'Eco-Armageddon, propagated by the European Union and environmental activists, which arises because of the failure to adhere to the Precautionary Principle...

Precautionus Principilitis:
A Psychosocial Disorder Causing Luddite Psychobabble ©

Precaution as a Way of Life

The moral, social and environmental cognoscenti of the new communitarian[2] movement for global governance hold the precautionary principle as a doctrinal article of faith. The philosophy advocates a ‘Better Safe than Sorry’ ethos to modern day living. One public relations expert remarked several years ago that Europe’s unilateral efforts to establish the precautionary principle as an absolute global legal standard reflects a deeper institutional and cultural aversion to risk not found in the United States. Sharp demographic differences between the two powers appear to support this fact; “European electorates are aging must faster than America’s, making Europeans more risk averse.”[3] As a result, geriatric Europeans reflexively fear the myriad uncertainties surrounding new technologies and industrial processes, especially unfathomable risks that populate the distant future, and potentially affect their health and environment, even though no actual proof of imminent risk of harm is present. Because of this fear, European elites and like-minded American Europhiles argue that such advances should be shunned, even if it means grinding global societal progress to a halt.

FOR THE FULL ARTICLE SEE: http://itssd.blogspot.com/2007/12/precautionus-principilitis.html

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