Chinese University Hosts First Conference in China on Climate Change Ethics.

Nanjing University of Science Information and Technology in collaboration with the Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State University organized the first conference on climate change ethics in China that was held on October 29 and 30 in Nanjing. This conference examined the ethical dimensions of climate change as well as other economic, legal, and policy issues entailed by climate change policy-making. Papers presented included nine papers on climate change ethics, eight papers on climate change policy and law, and eight papers on social and economic issues entailed by climate change.
This conference was particularly notable because both Chinese and non-Chinese participants appeared to agree that climate change must be understood to be essentially an ethical matter that can only be solved through reliance on some common global values. To this writer’s knowledge, this was the first conference in China that expressly explored the ethical views of Chinese and Western ethicists about climate change.
The papers presented at the conference included the following:
A. Climate Change Ethics And Philosophy
1. The Practical Significance of Understanding Climate Change As An Ethical Problem (Donald A. Brown, Penn State University)
2. The Border Between Climate Change And Libertarianism (Jun Chen, Hubei University)
3. Thoughts On Climate Change And The Conflict Of National Interest (Gang Guo, Institute of Climate Change and Public Policy-Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology)
4. Review On The Climate Change Ethics (Jun Shi, Institute of Climate Change and Public Policy-Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology)
5. Philosophical Review On Climate Change (Fan Chen & Guozhang Liu, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology)
6. Analysis On The Root Of Climate Crisis Through Biological Marxism (Feng Xu, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology)
7. Possibilities Of Global Cooperation On Climate-the Dilemma Of Nation-State Theory And World Theory (Fangxing Ye, Hehai University)
8. Climate Justice And Climate Ethics (Rongnan Zhang, Department of Philosophy-East China Normal University)
9. Climate Change: Ethical Dimension On Sustainable Development (Siwei Dai, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology)
B. Section Two: Climate Change Policy And Law
1. Discussion, Debate, And Democratic Negotiation: The Choice Of Tools In Global Climate Change Policy Making (Xiangrong Su, Institute of Climate Change and Public Policy-Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology)
2. Adaptation To Climate Change Impacts: Challenges To China’s Environmental Law And Changing Directions (Xiangbai He, Law School-Western Sydney University)
3. Response And Choice To The Climate Legislation And Regulation Under Multiple Pursuits Of Benefits (Xiaodan Song & Zhangjun Pang, Institute of Climate Change and Public Policy-Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology)
4. Research On Regulation Of Atmospheric Property Under Climate Change (Shibin Wu, Institute of Climate Change and Public Policy-Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology)
5. Study On The Legislation Of Human-impact Climate Change (Zhi Qiao, Institute of Climate Change and Public Policy-Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology)
6. The Inspiration of “Others Theory” Of Ethics On Contemporary Public Policy (Xi Wang, China mMeteorology Bureau)
7. A Brief Analysis On The Cooperation On Climate Study Across Taiwan Straits In The Last 60 Years (Suhua Yong & Xiangping Liu, Institute of Climate Change and Public Policy-Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology)
8. Research On The NGOs’ Influence In Coping With Climate Change (Meili Tang, Huijuan Shi, & Fengjiang Cheng, Institute of Climate Change and Public Policy-Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology)
Section Three: Economic And Social Management In Climate Change
1. Climate Change And Ecocities In China: Challenges And Opportunities To Building A Sustainable And Equitable Society (Erich W.Schienke)
2. Efficiency And Reduction In China: Carbon Tax Or Sectoral Cap And Trade? (Rongxiang Cao, Central Bureau of Translation)
3. Energy Saving In China: Tax, Control On Total Amount In Each Department, Or Trade? (Rongxiang Cao, Central Bureau of Translation)
4. Democratic Governance: Probe On The Democratic Mode In Coping With Climate Change (Zhijiang Li, Institute of Climate Change and Public Policy-Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology)
5. Change Of The “Leadership” Of Global Environmental Control: Case Study In Canada (Laihui Xie, Central Bureau of Translation)
6. Path Selection Of China’s Ecological Regulation Construction Through Ecological Civilization (Fen Sun & Jie Cao, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology)
7. Climate Change, Eco-system, And A Sustainable Developing Society (Zhangguo Liu, Institute of Climate Change and Public Policy-Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology)
8. Research On The Factors That Drive Low Carbonization On China’s Traditional Manufacturing (Decai Tang & Changshun Li, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology)
9. Discussion On The Practical necessity And Basic Ideas On China’s Ecological Regulation (Fen Sun & Jie Cao, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology)
10. Analysis Of The Influence Of REDD On Slowing Down China’s Climate Change Process (Jichuan Sheng, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology)
For further information about this conference, contact Donald A Brown, Penn State University, dab57@psu.edu
By
Donald A. Brown,
Associate Professor, Environmental Ethics, Science, and Law
Penn State University
dab57@psu.edu

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Chinese University Hosts First Conference in China on Climate Change Ethics.

  1. Wonderful list of papers. Thank you.
    Do you suppose that for attendees, there is consensus for accepted sources for current climate science?
    It seems that the lines for situation and scenario are constantly moving.

    Like

  2. I saw no disagreement among the Chinese scholars about the consensus view of the science as articulated by IPCC. There was also a remarkable amount of agreement on many of the ethical issues entailed by climate change including such matters as ethical problems with the use of scientific uncertainty as an excuse for not taking action.

    Like

  3. We hope to make these papers available on ClimateEthics in the near future. Many of the papers were written in Chinese and we are seeking to have English versions made available.

    Like

  4. Don, thanks for this update and the fascinating list of papers.
    That said — how to put it? — hhmmmmm: All things considered, it seems like the problem is getting worse much faster than we are finding pathways to face and address it. Wisdom, if it is increasing and spreading at all, is being greatly outpaced — indeed overwhelmed — by the momentum of the problem and the apparent lack of wisdom in our institutions.
    Durban is expected to be a flop, yes? Obama has made the bold decision to delay his decision regarding Keystone XL. Secty Chu seems to talk more these days about economics and competitiveness and so forth than about the grave science of the matter, and ethics. The broad philosophical community seems near-silent to me: although a few folks publish and talk about these things, the dialogue on places such as Philos-L regarding climate change is nearly non-existent.
    The wisest folks, it seems to me, these days, regarding how to begin to prompt some responsible dialogue in society, are some of the Occupy folks. These days, nothing short of peaceful civil disobedience (NVCD), or even the subset of that that might be called ‘peaceful and gentle disruption’ (is there such a term?), seems likely to get anywhere. I find it quite odd to have to say this, but do you see any signs of other things working?
    Any ideas?
    In any case, thanks for the update.
    Be Well,
    Jeff

    Like

  5. Jeff; Once again I agree with everything you say. Even what I do is not strong enough for the scale of the problem. I still have hope that some of the ideas I saw expressed in China could lead to a great cultural shift so badly and urgently needed. In my view we should not only be calling great injustice by its real name but turning up the volume on the climate change epidemiological disinformation campaign which has been responsible for almost thirty years of delay.

    Like

  6. Jeff makes a key point – we’re causing the problem much faster than we are responding to avert it.
    Don you do too saying we must turn up the volume on how ‘disinformation’ campaigns have over 30 years, been deliberate delaying tactics . . . [in favour of the lottery model of the universe].
    However when you say these things and particularly when UNEP talks [report today] about the ’emissions-gap’, I reckon its as much about the ‘cognition gap’ beyond the UNFCCC and generally, as anything else.
    Governments at the UNFCCC know full well we’re done for without a climate-deal asap but their dangerous game has been to trade [crudely] off, ‘the other-side must offer/deliver more’.
    However, beyond the UNFCCC part of the ‘cognition gap’ is the ‘unsuspended dis-belief’ that the climate problem can’t really be that bad, otherwise the Governments would have done something about it!
    Its a ‘credulity’ issue and the media have much responsibility in this.
    As all at UNFCCC know, at the first-order [path-integral] the ‘negotiations’ are really about one [very tough] issue ahead of everything else – how to agree sharing what’s left: – http://www.gci.org.uk/Documents/COP-17-350GTC-CandC.pdf
    My point is that . . . ethical is ‘rational’ [quantified/normalised] while a lottery [picking numbers out of a hat] isn’t and nobody wins. In this light one can ask ‘what’s the alternative’ – deliberate failure while being able to blame the other side?
    Was there any take on C&C at the China conference?
    There was here: – http://www.gci.org.uk/Chinese_Government.html

    Like

  7. Aubrey; I also agree with your take on what is happening. Namely, nations are playing the game: I dont have to do anything until the others ante up. Their ability to do this is at minimum enabled by the disinformation campaign, a campaign whose funding you can usually track back to some fossil fuel interests.
    There was no express consideration of C&C, and some justification for China not needing to agree to binding emissions reductions targets on the basis that China must continue to develop, yet at least among the ethicists present, there was a recognition that we need to find universal values to resolve this civilization challenging ethical issue. This, may be enough to support C&C with minor modifications to the reduction glide path. All and all, I found the meeting hopeful, although without recognition of the urgency of immediate action.

    Like

  8. Hi Don – There’s little doubt the FF interests are behind much/most? of the disinformation campaign.
    There’s also credulity in the ‘commentariat’ who just play along, as though ‘mediating’ that was the major issue.
    I stick to the view that the ‘main-issue’ is getting beyond the brinkmanship over sharing what’s left of the emissions-entitlements that sum to UNFCCC-compliance.
    Like this for example: –
    http://www.gci.org.uk/Documents/COP-17-350GTC-CandC.pdf
    . . . ‘immediate convergence’ doesn’t translate into immediate ‘reductions for LDCs’ – if anything quite the contrary – as expanded here for example: – http://www.candcfoundation.com/pages/whatis.html
    Negotiating the ‘rate of convergence’ inter-regionally is the only reconciliation lever left, if we intend UNFCCC-compliance.
    If we don’t, we might as well kiss the kids goodnight, because if recognizing – and acting on – urgency isn’t yet the number one driver, we’re done for.

    Like

  9. Aubrey: I have felt that since you explained to me in the mid-1990s C&C- that it was the best hope for some agreement. I still feel that way.
    My take on getting over the brinksmanship is to turn up the volume on those nations that have been the major barriers. It, of course, may not work but it is at least a strategy.

    Like

Comments are closed.