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Environmental Values

Clowning Around with Conservation: Adaptation, Reparation and the New Substitution Problem

Benjamin Hale, Alexander Lee and Adam Hermans

Environmental Values 23 (2014): 181-198. doi: 10.3197/096327114X13894344179202

ABSTRACT

In this paper we introduce the 'New Substitution Problem' which, on its face, presents a problem for adaptation proposals that are justified by appeal to obligations of reparation. In contrast to the standard view, which is that obligations of reparation require that one restore lost value, we propose instead that obligations to aid and assist species and ecosystems in adaptation, in particular, follow from a failure to adequately justify - either by absence, neglect, omission or malice - actions that caused, or coalesced to cause, climatic change. Because this position suggests a different reason for reparation - namely, it does not rely on the notion that an obligation to repair is contingent upon a lost good - it permits moving forward with assisted colonisation and migration, but does so without falling subject to the complications of the New Substitution Problem.


KEYWORDS

Conservation, adaptation, anthropocene, novel ecosystems, intervention ecology

REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Environmental Values, Anthropocentrism and Speciesism Onora O'Neill

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Editorial: Adapting to a Perilous Planet. Kenneth Shockley and Andrew Light

Editorial: The Ethics of Engineering the Climate. Christian Baatz, Clare Heyward and Harald Stelzer


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