Archive for October 15th, 2010


What Brown Can Do

October 15, 2010

Don Brown is at it again. Another missive from State College, this time on “Ethical Problems With Cost Arguments Made In Opposition to Climate Change Policies.”

This post now looks at how cost-benefit arguments made in opposition to climate change policies are also often ethically problematic because they fail to accurately identify the full damages of doing nothing on climate change.

The failure to adequately deal with the full costs of doing nothing stems from two problems with how the values of the benefits of taking action are calculated.

First cost arguments fail to fully identify all potential harms and damages from climate change.

Second cost arguments usually discount the values of future benefits to be experienced from climate change, an approach which raises numerous ethical problems.This post looks at thical issues that arise because of the failure to fully identify and appropriately value all potential damages and harms that will be avoided if climate change policies and programs are enacted. A later post will look at the problems of discounting future benefits.