Global Warming in ‘It’s Not My Fault: Global Warming and Individual Moral Obligations’ by Sinnott-Armstrong
Global warming is one of the public concerns that have been discussed over several centuries. People want to know about the consequences of their behaviors and decisions for nature and the environment. In addition to a number of economic, political, and social aspects, Sinnott-Armstrong (2005) focuses on the worth of moral obligations of humans in regard to global warming. In the chosen chapter, the author develops eight assumptions about climate change, human harms, and global warming that are usually taken for granted. Human activities influence the progress of global warming, which provokes new problems and uncontrolled changes.
It is the responsibility of society and the government to understand if something can be done to protect the environment. Sinnott-Armstrong (2005) raises a serious problem that there is no clear way to choose a principle and make sure it is morally correct. Therefore, he introduces several groups of principles like actual act (what causes harm), internal (inward factors), collective (not to focus on individuals but on institutions), and counterfactual (what could happen if another way is chosen).
The main problem of humanity is that there is no clear knowledge to clarify what is morally wrong. Despite their intention to change the world and improve the quality of living, people continue making mistakes. This reading shows that it is easy for a person to introduce another principle and find an excuse for some actions, but then call current moral institutions unrealizable and start developing a new plan.
A central idea chosen by Sinnott-Armstrong (2005) is to drive a gas-guzzler for fun and realize if it is morally correct or not. Relying on all the mentioned assumptions, principles, and problems, the author does not give some promising conclusions. He proves that individuals cannot solve global problems, as well as cause them. It is the government whose powers and resources should be enough to interfere with human actions and find a good solution.
Sinnott-Armstrong, W. (2005). It’s not my fault: Global warming and individual moral obligations. In W. Sinnott-Armstrong & R. B. Howarth, Perspectives on climate change: Science, economics, politics, ethics advances in the economics of environmental resources (Vol. 1) (pp. 285-307). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.