Dale Jamieson

The Misunderstood Risks of Climate Change

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Keywords: Climate Change, Environmentalism, Democracy, Agency, Meaning of Life.

In this essay I suggest that the significance of two of the most important risks of climate change are misunderstood. Political risks matter because the very future of liberal societies and democratic governance are in jeopardy; existential risks matter because they feed political risks, and because they threaten the very sources of meaning in our lives. Together, existential and political risks contribute to and reflect our sense of powerlessness. The old environmentalism was a way of life as much as a search for solutions. It matters who we are and how we live, not just what we bring about.

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