Multidisciplinary Approaches Necessary to a Changing Climate

by Charlotte Morrissey

Grasso et al. (2015) argue in a piece introducing the Special Issue of Climatic Change that any non-multidisciplinary approach to the problems climate change is causing will leave the issue with far fewer solutions than are readily available. This piece looks at the many necessary ways that climate change needs to be considered. It encourages using a different lens and looking carefully at it as an ethical issue. Poorer nations are currently taking the brunt of higher global temperature issues, yet they are the least equipped to combat these changes. The developed countries need to help fund adaptations in developing nations, but to what extent? Developed nations are trapped in their own billion-dollar efforts to fight the ever more apparent effects of climate change.

This article points out that questions like these should be driving the climate change discussion and forcing people to consider, philosophically, what is the best approach to the next several decades. The authors emphasize that scholars of all disciplines need to come together to agree on fossil fuel regulations and ways to forcibly reduce carbon footprints, new technology to allow nations to adapt now and in the future to the effects of rising temperatures, and how to avoid falling behind in the case of a setback. These efforts, the piece argues, are going to require funding and coordination between technical disciplines and world powers. It is no longer fair, Grasso et al. argue, for countries to act selfishly with resources when facing an issue of this impact globally, even claiming that the necessity for climate change adaptations is the defining issue of the twenty-first century, the one issue that every individual and community must get behind in order to see any level of success. The authors believe that is not enough to leave decisions and negotiations up to powerful corporations, nations, and scientists. It is an effort that every individual needs to participate in and every scholar needs to devote resources to before the world can see any major progress on the issue.

Grasso, M., Markowitz, E. M., 2015. The moral complexity of climate change and the need for a multidisciplinary perspective on climate ethics. Climatic Change, 327-334.

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