Featured Web site: ClimateEthics.org

In its April 28, 2008, issue, Time magazine named the Rock Ethics Institute's Web site on climate change, http://climateethics.org, one of the top 15 Web sites addressing environmental issues. The year-old site, a joint venture with Real Climate, looks at the ethical questions raised by climate change.

Its authors, Donald Brown, associate professor of environmental ethics, science and law, and Nancy Tuana, DuPont/Class of 1949 professor of ethics, state:

"ClimateEthics.org is a commentary site on climate change science and policy making by those working on climate change ethics. The site is intended for policy makers, interested public, and journalists. We aim to provide a quick response in the form of ethical comments on issues in contention in climate change policy formation around the world and provide insights on aspects of climate change science that raise ethical issues and thus are in need of attention by policy makers. Working with scientists and economists when appropriate, we intend to follow developing climate change policy issues and stories and provide ethical comments about these issues, as well as commenting on the ethical dimensions of emerging scientific understanding of climate change. Our goal is to provide robust identification of ethical issues, ethical analyses of selected issues, as well as identify issues about which deeper ethical analyses needs to be done. In developing our ethical comments for this site, we will also work with others who are developing more detailed ethical analyses of climate change issues and occasionally summarize these longer ethical analyses when such work is particularly relevant to climate change policy formation."

As Time noted, "Science tells us how we are searing the planet. Economics tells us how much it will cost to do something—or nothing—about it. Neither science nor economics tells us right from wrong. That is the domain of ethics-and the Rock Ethics Institute's ClimateEthics Web site."

Donald A. Brown, J.D., is associate professor of environmental ethics, science and law in the Science, Technology, and Society program. His email address is dab57@psu.edu. Nancy Tuana, Ph.D., is DuPont/Class of 1949 Professor of ethics and director of the Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State. Her email address is ntuana@psu.edu.

Last Updated June 16, 2008