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“Anthropogenic climate change: Scientific uncertainties and moral dilemmas” by Hillerbrand and Ghil (Physica D, 2008)

I like the optimistic attempt to rationalize the debate on climate change policy; that does not mean I totally concur. The pessimistic view could also conclude from it that “we know nothing (or nearly zero) about the future, so that any action has to be based, at the end, on our belief and values”.

The paper provides some interesting references that I hope I will be able to read one day. For instance, see Krebs “Ethics of Nature” to see why “A key shortcoming of non-anthropocentric approaches [such as deep ecology], however, is that they contradict Occam’s razor: a larger number of premises is needed in arguing for physiocentricism or holism, and these added premises cannot be justified any further.” See Jonas (The Imperative of Responsibility: In Search of an Ethics for the Technological Age 1984) for a definition of the principle of precaution: “if we cannot exclude with certainty that an action, like the release of greenhouse gases, has the potential to cause severe or irreversible harm – to present or future generations – it is to be abandoned.”