. . . is the name of a new book by Stephen M. Gardiner which explores the challenge that climate change presents to the world and to models, not of climate change, but of the practical and moral models used to understand and govern. The basis of bargaining between nations. The conclusion is not encouraging but recognition of a problem is the first step to solving it. There are many reviews on the net, Eli will only point to one at Hot Topic
Much in the book is familiar to readers of this and similar blogs, the difficulties associated with the global and inter-generational spans of climate change, the finger pointing and more. For those not particularly interested in reading a 507 pp door stop, there is the 18 page paper that seeded it.
While it is tempting for Eli to quote extensively from various sections on, among other things, moral corruption, perhaps it is just better for the rest of the bunnies to RTFR, and end, where papers always end, with the conclusion
In conclusion, the presence of the problem of moral corruption reveals another sense in which climate change may be a perfect moral storm. This is that its complexity may turn out to be perfectly convenient for us, the current generation, and indeed for each successor generation as it comes to occupy our position. For one thing, it provides each generation with the cover under which it can seem to be taking the issue seriously – by negotiating weak and largely substanceless global accords, for example, and then heralding them as great achievements – when really it is simply exploiting its temporal position. For another, all of this can occur without the exploitative generation actually having to acknowledge that this is what it is doing. By avoiding overtly selfish behaviour, earlier generations can take advantage of the future without the unpleasantness of admitting it – either to others, or, perhaps more importantly, to itself.