Long-Term Environmental Responsibility

“Giving testimony in the British House of Commons on July 9, 2019, the naturalist Sir David Attenborough called for a moral transformation in attitudes to the natural environment similar to the one that took place in relation to slavery in the nineteenth century. There was a time when slavery was considered normal; then it became unacceptable. The same has to become true, he said, about the human degradation of the environment. What makes climate change so significant in this context is that it highlights the fatal weakness of an I-centered culture, where the major institutions of the market and the state are the only recognised authorities. The market is predominantly focused on short-term profit, not long-term responsibility. There are market-based solutions to environmental problems, but they involve government intervention. They are rarely arrived at by the market left to its own devices.”

Morality, p. 158