Lecture Series Explores Ethics and Climate Change

Eric Quinones ・ High Meadows Environmental Institute

An interdisciplinary group of scholars will examine the ethical dimensions of the challenge presented by climate change in a fall lecture series sponsored by the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI) and the University Center for Human Values.

The five-part “Ethics and Climate Change” series will begin with a talk by Peter Singer, the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values, at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30, in Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall. Singer’s lecture is titled “The Ethical Challenge of Climate Change.”

The other lectures in the series are:

  • Global Warming: What Do We Know and What Should We Do?” by Richard Somerville, the Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Research Professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California-San Diego, at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, in 101 McCormick Hall.
  • Prospicience (the Art and Science of Looking Ahead) and Geoengineering: What If We Can Dial Our Future?” by Robert Socolow, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton, at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14, in 10 Guyot Hall.
  • The Role of Ethics in the Legal Response to Climate Change: Perspectives From Environmental Law” by Jody Freeman, professor of law and director of the environmental law program at Harvard Law School, at noon Wednesday, Nov. 19, in 10 Guyot Hall.
  • The Right to Development in a Climate-Constrained World: A ‘Greenhouse Development Rights‘ Approach to the Global Climate Regime” by Sivan Kartha, a senior scientist at the Stockholm Environment Institute, at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 25, in 101 McCormick Hall.

Each speaker in the series will be paired with a discussant from a different discipline. The series was organized by Singer; Socolow; Pascale Poussart, assistant director for energy initiatives at PEI; and Sarah Fawcett, a graduate student in the Department of Geosciences. For more information, visit the PEI website.

In addition to cosponsoring the fall lecture series, PEI and the Center for Human Values this spring will jointly host David Schlosberg, a leading scholar in environmental politics, as the Thomas A. and Currie C. Barron Visiting Professor in the Environment and the Humanities. At Princeton, he will teach an undergraduate course on climate ethics and present several lectures on the issue.  

Schlosberg is a professor of politics and international affairs and director of the environmental studies program at Northern Arizona University, where he teaches political theory and environmental politics. His books include “Environmental Justice and the New Pluralism,” “Green States and Social Movements,” “Debating the Earth: The Environmental Politics Reader” and “Defining Environmental Justice.”