The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by urging the international community to take measures preventing “dangerous man-made interference with the climate system”.
Since its publication in 1997, the Kyoto Protocol has triggered heated debates among scientists and politicians. According to a number of critics, the questions as to whether global warming is caused by human intervention, and whether taking appropriate measures could reduce the trend, has not yet been conclusively answered. In a limited number of countries, this situation has led to a delay in the ratification process. Only when these disputes were settled in February 2005 the Kyoto Protocol became legally binding on all the signatories.
If predictions are accurate, measures have to be taken to prevent a global catastrophe. This leads to another, much overlooked, but no less important question, namely how mankind can be motivated to accept the burden attached to the measures proposed by the Kyoto Protocol; in other words, how do we find and formulate an ethical basis for measures forcing us to sacrifice some of our wealth and riches, for a cleaner, more sustainable world?
This inspiring collection of articles, sometimes unanimous, sometimes in disagreement, provide by their very diversity an excellent basis for further discussion and scrutiny of important questions that will concern us for many years to come. Contributors include internationally known philosophers, researchers, and environmentalists.