Saturday, 19 November 2011

Egalitarianism and Climate Justice

A most interesting advert for a Climate Justice Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne was featured in the Weekend Australian Professional Education section. The aim of the project is to
...provide a new framework for how to fairly distribute the costs of responding to climate change and to contribute to the understanding of a range of moral issues associated with climate change. Topics covered by the project include: models of how to distribute the burdens of climate change between and within nations, egalitarian discussions of climate change, understanding climate skepticism and the harms caused by climate change.
An essential criterion for the position is "a PhD or substantial progress towards one in Philosophy or related discipline". This is unclear: related to Philosophy, or to the topic of the research? Reading the project aim, I would have thought that a degree in Science, say in Psychology, with strong Physics (to understand the science) and Mathematics (to do the modelling), along with with a minor in Philosophy or Ethics, would be better suited to answering questions such as "how to fairly distribute the costs", "modelling how to distribute the burdens of climate change between and within nations". A desirable criterion is the "ability to work on applied or interdisciplinary problems"; a background solely in Philosophy would be, I think, too narrow for this.

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