Climate change has been a major concern to the United States and the rest of the world. For this reason, the country has been active to address major issues that have contributed to climate change in the recent past. One of these issues is global warming which has been contributed by the accumulation of greenhouse gases. In that regard, different reigns have established strategies to address climate change. For instance, the President Trump’s administration has advocate for the withdrawal of the country from the Paris Climate Agreement.
The United States addressed global climate change for the first time in 1960s. This led to the establishment of climate change policies that have been reviewed over time. However, changes in climate have been persistent despite the efforts by the United States and the rest of the world. Essentially, increased industrialization in past century has been the main cause of the continuous climate change. For example, increased carbon emissions have resulted into changes in global temperatures referred to as global warming. With the continuous emergence of the effects of global warming, signs show that climate change will have adverse effects on the planet if not addressed and mitigated (Benoit, 26-69). Hence, the United States has been in the frontline to increase awareness on the issue.
One of the major theories applied in the process of addressing climate change is utilitarianism. When it comes to analyzing climate change from a utilitarian point of view, preference utilitarianism is applied. Preference utilitarianism focuses on the principle of utility that is vital in moral decision making. Unlike the classical utilitarianism, the preference utilitarianism is highly applicable in climate change. Over the years, its relevance in creating awareness on climate changes has increased (May and Jill, 16-54). Therefore, many scholars have researched on its essence in promoting methods used to mitigate changes in climate.
The application of preference utilitarianism is based on the fact that it does not focus on environmental decisions that maximize pleasure and reduce pain. Instead, the applicability of preference utilitarianism is based on the ideation that it promotes actions that fulfill the interest of all people that are affected by climate changes. Its application has increased interest in promoting awareness on climate change (Nolt, 57-68). Hence, the theory is applicable when it comes to protecting our environment that is affected by changes in climate.
Climate change has been considered a challenge to the utilitarian theory. For instance, the rising human is the main cause of increased carbon emission. The higher the number of human beings that exist on the planet, the higher the cases of pollution and climate change (May and Jill, 16-54). Similarly, the preference utilitarian theory emphasizes the idea that preferences should not only focus on the existing human population but also the future generations (Nolt, 57-68). Hence, there are conflicting ideas when applying preference utilitarianism as a way of solving changes in climate.
Changes in climate have prompted different leaders and administrators to emphasize on the importance of reducing climatic changes. This has led to the establishment of environmental control policies that are meant to solve changes in climate (Benoit, 26-33). On the other hand, researchers have conducted many studies to examine the causes and effects of climate change. As a result of this, the application of theories such as utilitarianism has been focused on changes in climate.
Benoit, Peter. Climate Change. New York: Children’s Press, 2011. Print.
May, Larry, and Jill Delston. Applied Ethics: A Multicultural Approach. , 2016. Print.
Nolt, John. Environmental Ethics for the Long Term: An Introduction. London: Routledge, 2015. Internet resource.