3-22-11 notes - You should not do something for your own...

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Matt Deis 3/22/11 Philosophy Global Energy Challenges Energy poverty of about 2 billion people (lacking fuel for cooking/heating; electricity for lighting Energy Security : Reliable and economic energy supply, mostly about liquid hydrocarbons for transport (oil) U.S. Goal : 3.5 million bbl/day reduction in crude use Greenhouse Gas Emissions : Mostly about CO 2 from stationary cources (power and heat) U.S. Goal : about 20% reduction by 2020, 80% by 2050, currently no annual reduction Significant changes in energy sources and uses Challenges in Stabilizing Atmospheric CO 2 CO 2 concentration rising at an accelerating rate; 550 ppm reached by 2050 Energy infrastructure has a long lifetime; need to act in a few decades Global Emissions are growing at about 2-3% per year The long CO 2 lifetime means that the atmosphere accumulates the emissions Drastic reductions in emissions are required implying large and major changes in energy production/use John Broome
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Unformatted text preview: You should not do something for your own benefit if it harms another person (Golden Rule) • Sometimes you cannot avoid harming someone, you are then required to compensate the victim. Our compensation is indirect, mostly done by government policies (medicare, medic-aide) • To maximize utility (in terms of the theory of Diminishing Marginal Utility) get the person with more of something to give to the person with less • Future people will be richer than we are now • We don’t know exactly what things will be valuable to people in the future • We can give the future people something (like a healthy atmosphere) that benefits both us and them Prioritarianism v. Utilitarianism • Broome is a Utilitarian • Prioritarians believe it is better to give something to the poor rather than give to the rich, for current people. For utilitarians, it does not matter where an increase occurs, an increase is an increase....
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