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Transcript of TOK oral
Action 1.Since 2005, the mean concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as measured at the Mauna Loa Observatory, has increased from 378ppm to 387ppm. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 2009)
2.In 1960, measurements at the same location showed a carbon dioxide concentration of slightly less than 320ppm. (NOAA 2009)
3.Data from historical records, ice cores, tree rings, corals, and thermometers show no general upward trend in mean global temperature between the years 1000 and 1900. (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2001)
4.Over the 100-year period from 1906 to 2005, there was an increase in mean global temperature of 0.74˚C. (IPCC 2007)
Discovery "Tragedy of the commons"
An economic problem in which every individual tries to reap the greatest benefit from a given resource.
From the perspective of utilitarianism, we must look at the consequences of our actions to determine if they are right or wrong. An action is right to the degree that it promotes pleasure and minimizes pain for all affected by the action as far into the
future as can be predicted, and wrong to the degree that it results in more pain than pleasure. Clearly the long term consequences of global warming will produce more harm than benefit, so we ought to fight against global warming. Action Lay Knowers: What is the root of disagreement? Prior knowledge
Diversity about knowledge
Volume of knowledge
Confidence in science
Presentation Should the burden rest with those who are concerned with the climate change? or with those responsible for the change? Can an economist capture the value of a tree only when it's alive or only when it has been converted to paper? Is globalization going to desensitize us to local perspectives, resulting in reduction or simplification of the knowledge presented, rather than a worthwile synthesis? Who owns the problem and consequently the solutions? Who is justified in claiming the territory in which the topic lies? Can science ever be value-free, sticking only to facts or should it step in the field of advocacy? On what basis do economists feel confident enough to offer advice? Territory Deontology
From the perspective of deontological ethics, we have a duty to respect and protect the rights of others. One can certainly argue that neglecting global warming neglects the rights of present and future generations to inhabit a healthy earth. Can economics and science be reconciled through the application of ethical theory? Should our policies be informed by utilitarian values or by living in tandem with nature even when there are no direct or measurable benefits? Are there any simple rules that we can apply to guide us in out interactions with our environment? Thank you!