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Colloquium "Climate harming: Crime, or casus belli?"

Mittwoch, 30.11.2022

We cordially invite you to Ross Mittiga´s colloquium on “Climate harming: Crime, or casus belli?”.


Time: 14:00-15:30; Tuesday 6th 2022

Location: SR 09.53, Heinrichstraße 25, 5th floor



Many well-known political leaders, activists, and academics have analogized climate change to war, usually with the aim of justifying a massive mobilization of public resources and the lifestyle sacrifices such a mobilization might entail. In my talk, I will take the analogy in a different -- more literal -- direction, by engaging four key questions. The first of these is empirical: in what ways is climate change warlike? The other three are normative. Of these, the first asks whether climate harming can be properly understood as a blameworthy act. In defending an affirmative answer to this, I will contend with an objection related to the doctrine of double effect. The second asks: assuming climate harming can be regarded as a blameworthy act, who is to blame (and how much)? In way of responding, I will distinguish between two forms of responsibility for climate harms, and defend a principled basis for attributing degrees of culpability to some parties. Finally, I will take up the question: if climate harming can be understood as a blameworthy act, and if specific blameworthy parties can be identified, what kind of blameworthy act is it, exactly? In particular, why might we regard climate harming as an act of war, rather than, say, a crime?

Ross Mittiga is the first Philosophy-Fellow of the Field of Excellence Climate Change Graz and Ass Prof in Chile.

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