Dale Jamieson joined us for the Dialogue Climate Change: Change We can Believe In, But What Can We Do About It?. He is Director of Environmental Studies at New York University, where he is also Professor of Environmental Studies and Philosophy and Affiliated Professor of Law. Formerly he was Henry R. Luce Professor in Human Dimensions of Global Change at Carleton College, and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he was the only faculty member to have won both the Dean´s award for research in the social sciences and the Chancellor´s award for research in the humanities. He has held visiting appointments at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Cornell, Princeton, Stanford, Oregon, Arizona State University, and Monash and the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia. He is also past president of the International Society for Environmental Ethics. Among his numerous publications, the books: Ethics and the Environment: An Introduction (Cambridge, 2008) and Morality´s Progress: Essays on Humans, Other Animals, and the Rest of Nature (Oxford, 2002). He is also the editor or co-editor of eight books, most recently Climate Ethics: Essential Readings (Oxford, 2010), with Steve Gardiner, Simon Caney, and Henry Shue. He has published more than one hundred articles and book chapters. He is currently a Principal Investigator on a National Science Foundation Project on “Assessing Assessments: A Historical and Philosophical Study of Scientific Assessments for Environmental Policy in the Late 20th Century”, with Michael Oppenheimer (Princeton) and Naomi Oreskes (UCSD). He is also writing a book on the moral and political challenges of climate change, a topic on which he has worked for more than twenty-five years.
What does "Dialogue" mean to you?
People coming together from different places - geographical, political, religious, cultural, psychological, and more - and entering into an open-minded and open-hearted conversation.
Should we fear global warming?
Fear is an ugly word but yes we should in some sense fear it because it will endanger much that we value about nature – landscapes, species, and the stories we tell about them; it will further punish and disadvantage those who are already struggling to get by and further exacerbate divisions in the world; and it risks triggering unpredictable, catastrophic events.
What can we do about it?
We have already set in motion forces that will affect the planet for at least the next thousand years. What we can do now is slow and soften these changes, and compensate those who will suffer from them. This means reducing consumption, increasing our generosity, and forging new bonds of global solidarity.
What did you take away from your experience at La Pietra?
Conscientious people today will come to a place that is ancient and beautiful both to refresh themselves by communing with the past and also to think about the future.