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Sympathy, hypocrisy, responsibility: Who’s to blame for climate change?: interview with Waleed Aly and Scott Stephens


Corry, R, Sympathy, hypocrisy, responsibility: Who's to blame for climate change?: interview with Waleed Aly and Scott Stephens, The Minefield, Radio National, Australian Broadcasting Coorperation, Australia, 19 September 2018 (2018) [Media Interview]

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One of the more cruel characteristics of climate change is that its pernicious effects are borne disproportionately — unevenly — by a few, and most often by those whose lives enjoy little margin for error. This includes, of course, those in low-lying, equatorial regions, those living in already arid conditions, and those living on small island nations. But over the last four years at least, farmers across Australia have found themselves particularly exposed to worsening drought conditions.

It has now become something of a national ritual to see senior federal politicians don their Akubras (or baseball caps, as the case may be) and embark on a 'listening' tour through the worst of the drought-affected regions. This is most often accompanied by expressions of sympathy — or even calls for prayer.

But are such expressions of sympathy little more than forms of self-exculpation, of empty sentiment, in the face of more than a decade of government inaction on climate change? What about our culpability: the fact that the now mantra-like problem of 'high power bills' evidently means more to most Australians than supporting meaningful — even if temporarily costly — measures to greatly reduce our national dependence on fossil fuels?

What is the nature of moral responsibility when confronted with a problem as complex as climate change? Is the language of responsibility helpful in encouraging a kind of shift in personal and national priorities? Or is the language of responsibility morally inescapable, and our avoidance of it just one more form of our complicity in the immiseration of others?

Item Details

Item Type:Media Interview
Keywords:Climate Change, Responsibility, Attribution, Philosophy
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Philosophy
Research Field:Environmental philosophy
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in philosophy and religious studies
UTAS Author:Corry, R (Dr Richard Corry)
ID Code:129478
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2018-12-03
Last Modified:2018-12-03
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

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