Climate Change and Burning of Fossil Fuels

TitleClimate Change and Burning of Fossil Fuels
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsHedahl, M, Henderson, M, Heurer, K, Nelson, JL, Rieder, TN, Whyte, K
Corporate AuthorsGeorgetown University Undergraduate Bioethics Society,, American Society for Bioethics + Humanities,
Date Published05/2013
PublisherGeorgetown University Undergraduate Bioethics Society
Place PublishedWashington, D.C.
KeywordsENVIRONMENTAL ethics , ENVIRONMENTAL policy , Environmental Sciences
Abstract(See page 12 of the PDF) Climate change refers to the rise in global average temperature that has been observed in the last few centuries. During roughly the last 50 years, this rise had been attributed to human activities of burning fossil fuels and deforestation. A key problem is that many of the populations who will suffer the costs of climate change are in developing countries who have not contributed to or benefited from the burning of fossil fuels that is in part responsible for climate change. These countries need to grow their economies like industrial countries by engaging in the same kind of energy production and consumption that led to industrialization- thereby adding to the overall problem of climate change even further. Should countries incur costs associated with burning fossil fuels in order to mitigate the rise in the global temperature, which would then keep developing countries poor? Or, should current generations in industrial countries cut their fossil fuel emissions, while allowing developing countries to emit as much as they need in order to achieve economic growth?
NotesCase from the 2013 Bioethics Bowl head as part of the National Undergraduate Bioethics Conference. Hosted by Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. April 5-7, 2013.
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