The Columns

Environmental Ethicist Andrew Light to Speak at W&L

— by on October 29th, 2008

On Tuesday, Nov. 11, at 4:45 p.m., the Society and the Professions Program in Ethics at Washington and Lee University will sponsor a lecture by Andrew Light, associate professor of philosophy and environmental policy at George Mason University (GMU).

The event, which is at the Stackhouse Theater in Elrod Commons, is free and open to the public. The title of Light’s talk is “Climate Ethics After Bali.”

Light is also director at the Center for Global Ethics at GMU and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C. He is an internationally recognized environmental ethicist specializing in the ethical dimensions of environmental policy, restoration ecology and climate change.

Light described his talk, “With the effective end of the debate over the basic science of climate change, and the dramatic shift in the U.S. political response to this issue, the world should now move quickly toward a successor agreement to the Kyoto protocol. This was the overwhelming consensus coming out of the last UN Framework on Climate Change conference held in Bali last December.

“What will be the role of ethicists in forming this new agreement? Will there be a role for ethicists in this process? “

After reviewing the current state of work on the ethics of climate change in the English speaking world, I will argue that philosophers need to move quickly to develop a more “clinical” model of climate ethics, comparable to clinical models of bioethics, if they want to be part of the resolution of this critical problem,” Light concluded.

He has authored, co-authored and edited 17 books on environmental ethics, philosophy of technology and aesthetics, including Environmental Values (2008), The Aesthetics of Everyday Life (2005), Moral and Political Reasoning in Environmental Practice (2003) and Technology and the Good Life? (2000). He is currently finishing a book on the ethics of restoration ecology in a changing climate.

Light received his B.A. from Mercer University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside.