Journal of Controversial Ideas

(ISSN: 2694-5991) Open Access Journal
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Controversial Ideas 2021, 1(1), 1; doi: 10.35995/jci01010001

Who Cares? ―The COVID-19 Pandemic, Global Heating and the Future of Humanity1

1 Stockholm University;
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 Apr 2020 / Revised: 10 Dec 2020 / Accepted: 11 Dec 2020 / Published: 25 Apr 2021
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The COVID-19 pandemic has engendered unprecedented drastic and costly measures to obviate the threat. Will something similar happen in relation to global heating? No, this is not likely. Mainly this has to do with a difference in the nature of collective action. Nation states protect their respective populations against the virus. With regard to global heating, we are facing the tragedy of the commons. No global government assumes responsibility for our common future. However, there may be another and further explanation lurking behind political inaction: many people, including our politicians, think that it does not matter if humanity goes extinct. It does matter, however. Strangely enough, the view that it matters is questioned by many important philosophers in the past and in the present, and it is hence controversial. Yet, it should be our common-sense stance to the problem. It is of the utmost importance that there will be sentient happy life on the globe for an indefinite time. Theoretically speaking, in order to recognize this, we need to accept some “total” view, implying what has been called the repugnant conclusion. Practically speaking, we should go to great length to rescue our human civilisation, even if this means that, for a while, we must endure all sorts of hardships such as a global enlightened despotism, or worse—a situation of life boat ethics.
Keywords: global heating; global government; global despotism; life-boat ethics; pessimism; actualism; deep ecology; the repugnant conclusion
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
Tännsjö, T. Who Cares? ―The COVID-19 Pandemic, Global Heating and the Future of Humanity1. Controversial_Ideas 2021, 1, 1.
Tännsjö T. Who Cares? ―The COVID-19 Pandemic, Global Heating and the Future of Humanity1. Journal of Controversial Ideas. 2021; 1(1):1.
Tännsjö, Torbjörn. 2021. "Who Cares? ―The COVID-19 Pandemic, Global Heating and the Future of Humanity1." Controversial_Ideas 1, no. 1: 1.
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